You can be re-infected with coronavirus after six months, says Sweden’s top epidemiologist
Dr Anders Tegnall, who has led the country’s controversial “herd immunity” response to the pandemic, said on Tuesday that there has been no reported cases of people falling ill twice with Covid-19 so far, according to the Telegraph.
He said that people who have recovered from the virus are likely to be immune for half a year, regardless of whether they have antibodies.
The epidemiologist said: “Our assessment is that if you do get Covid-19 you are immune, even if you don’t develop antibodies.”
The Swedish Public Health Agency has issued new guidance which says it is safe for people who have previously been infected to come into contact with people in high risk groups, although they must stick to social distancing rules.
Dr Tegnell’s remarks come as experts across the world say they are still unsure how long immunity lasts.
Studies have show that patients who recovered from the virus lose antibodies quickly.
Sweden’s response to the virus has been closely watched after it chose not to go into lockdown like its neighbours.
Schools, cafes, bars, restaurants and most businesses have stayed open.
Swedish officials argued that drastic lockdown measures are too ineffective to justify their impact.
But the country of 10 million has also seen one of the highest death rates from the disease in the world
It has had around 78,000 cases and 5,600 deaths, which is a much higher toll than neighbouring Denmark with a total of 13,000 cases and 600 deaths in a population of five million.
Dr Tegnell said: “In Sweden, the positive trend with a fairly quick decline in cases continues.”
“It really is yet another sign that the Swedish strategy is working,” he added.
“It is possible to slow contagion fast with the measures we are taking in Sweden.”