4 Symptoms That Might Indicate You Have Longer Immunity to COVID
The development and rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines have been seen as the light at the end of a very unpredictable and long tunnel. Most Americans who have managed to avoid COVID-19 infection so far are hoping that the vaccines will protect them against this vicious virus and they’ll be able to return to a somewhat normal lifestyle sooner rather than later.
However, for the millions of Americans who’ve already been infected with COVID-19 and recovered from it, how long their natural immunity will last and protect them against the coronavirus is an ardent question on their minds. Researchers have also been trying to answer this question. Continuous research has shown that antibodies can be found in a former COVID-19 patient’s system six to nine months after infection, even in the case of those with mild symptoms.
More recent evidence suggests that certain symptoms experienced during the illness could indicate that you’re more likely to have longer, “persistent” immunity to the virus after recovery. Read on to discover which symptoms could keep you safe for a longer period of time. And for more information on COVID-19, check out these 7 More Recent COVID Symptoms You Probably Haven’t Heard About.
Immunity is a hot topic
In a recent research conducted by the University of Wisconsin (not yet peer-reviewed), scientists analyzed blood samples from 113 COVID-19 patients, five weeks, respectively three months after recovering from their sickness. The patients’ concentration level of antibodies was analyzed both times.
The results confirmed what other several studies had previously found, namely that senior, male patients and/or former COVID-19 patients with severe illness had higher concentrations of antibodies, which means their immune response is stronger. The study also “demonstrated for the first time that [specific] COVID-19 symptoms…correlated consistently with higher anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels” at least for three months.
All in all, the study determined that “hospitalized subjects had higher antibody levels than non-hospitalized subjects”. On the other hand, patients who were not admitted to the hospital and experienced “cough, body aches, headache, nausea, and vomiting” had slightly lower concentration level of antibodies while those whose COVID-19 illness was accompanied by “chills, shortness of breath, chest tightness, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, and runny or stuffed nose” correlated to “no or almost [no]” antibodies.
Find the answer to If I’ve Already Had COVID-19, Do I Still Need the Vaccine? here.
Symptoms correlated to longer immunity
Although the study authors concluded more research is required to determine how long the immunity against COVID-19 can last, they, nevertheless, came up with a list of symptoms with generated stronger antibodies and longer, more persistent immunity.
Curious to know what these are? Then read on to find out. And for more coronavirus-related information, check out these 8 Most Common Post-Acute COVID Symptoms Doctors Warn About. If you’ve had the illness, with or without knowing it, you might experience them too.
Fever is one of the most common signs that your body is trying to fight against infection. However, when it comes to the coronavirus infection, a high temperature could indicate that your body is building immunity and creating more antibodies to keep you safe against the virus.
“Fever…[is] a sign of a systemic inflammatory response, suggesting that such an inflammatory response may be key for developing a strong anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody response,” the study authors revealed. Normal body temperature is around 98.6°F (37°C), but it may vary from person to person, depending on gender, age, activity, and time of day.
It’s normal not to eat that much when you feel sick, but when the fever accompanies your lack of hunger, health experts say it is a sign of a “systemic inflammatory response”. As explained by the study authors, your reduced appetite might mean that your body is having a major immune response to the infection in your body (or traces of it).
You might also want to know the answer to this question: How Long Can Your COVID-19 Symptoms Last?
Gastrointestinal problems have been identified as symptoms of severe COVID-19 illness from the early stages of the pandemic, but according to study authors, hospitalized patients did not experience increased diarrhea. What researchers found, on the other hand, was that non-hospitalized patients with higher concentration levels of antibodies did experience this symptom more often.
One hypothesis, as explained by study authors, would be that this symptom may be “a marker of severe disease.” Another one would be that during COVID-19 illness, the virus attacks the gastrointestinal system, something that would “directly enhance the antibody response, perhaps by activating inflammatory cells throughout the gut.”
However, not everything is related to the virus. Therefore, check out these 8 Non-Covid Symptoms You Should Not Overlook During The Pandemic, to make sure everything is all right in terms of your health.
Abdominal pain is a more unusual, but not necessarily rarer, symptom of COVID-19. Stomach pains are usually caused by something else but researchers have discovered that as many as 20 percent of hospitalized COVID-19 patients had a digestive symptom, such as diarrhea, vomiting or abdominal pain, accompanying other more common symptoms. And, around 5 percent complained of abdominal pain alone.
According to the study authors, abdominal pain might be caused by the same infection that caused diarrhea in people infected with COVID-19. Abraham Dachman, M.D., professor of radiology and abdominal imaging specialist with UChicago Medicine, said this should be a warning signal for all sub-specialties to be aware that COVID-19 can indeed produce abdominal pain.