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Coronavirus map LIVE: Exciting antibody clue spotted in 30,000 tests – would help vaccine

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Hopes for a vaccine were boosted after the study measured antibody levels in more than 30,000 Icelanders to look at how many people were infected and learn more about immune status after recovery. In previous studies, antibody levels dropped sharply within a few months after COVID-19, raising questions about the duration of immunity thatinfection may provide.

But the results, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, found among the 1,215 people with an infection confirmed by a gold-standard PCR laboratory test, 91 percent had antibody levels that rose during the first two months after diagnosis and then plateaued.

Scientists said it gives hope that “immunity to this unpredictable and highly contagious virus may not be fleeting”.

Researchers found about 1 percent of the population had been infected and of that group, 56 percent had received a confirmed diagnosis after a test.

Another 14 percent had not been formally diagnosed but had quarantined after exposure to the virus. In the remaining 30 percent, the antibody tests led to discovery of prior infection.

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