People who have been infected with coronavirus could see their immunity decline within months, studies have found -- which is just “what we were afraid of,” Dr. William Haseltine told CNN.
Haseltine, a former professor at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health, said the studies demonstrated long-suspected fears."This (virus), like its sister coronaviruses, the ones that give us colds, are very different from the childhood viruses," he said.
When you get childhood viruses like measles and mumps, you're then protected from re-infection for life. But Haseltine said it’s a different story with the cold viruses, because you get them and then your body “forgets” it was ever infected.
“They come back and get you again every year. You can be reinfected by the same cold virus every year and get the same cold," he said. He pointed to various studies in China, Spain and the UK that "actually measured the virus in people and ... the antibodies and watched the immunity decline."
"That's what we were afraid of,” he said.
If the findings are confirmed to be true, they could have significant implications for sick patients, for vaccine development, and for the idea that populations could achieve herd immunity.