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COVID-19 Survivors Could Be Immune for Up to a Year, Experts Say

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottleib looks over his notes before a House subcommittee hearing on the FDA's Status of Operations, Feb. 27, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

A U.S. disease expert says COVID-19 survivors may expect to be immune from another case for as long as one year.

Former Food and Drug Administration official Dr. Scott Gottleib appeared on CBS’s Face the Nation Sunday to talk about new findings by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that say a three-month immunity is a certainty.

“But it's probably the case that you're going to have a period of immunity that lasts anywhere from six to 12 months. It's going to be highly variable. Some people will have less immunity, some people will have slightly more. But it's good news that they're able to document that people have really sterile immunity. They're not going to get reinfected for at least three months and probably longer than that after infection.”

But Gottlieb cautioned that the COVID-19 is called the novel (new) coronavirus for a reason – there is still much that doctors don’t know about it.

With the U.S. closing in on 170,00 coronavirus deaths, experts at the University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics predict that number will hit 186,000 by September 1 and more than 390,000 by December 1.

Health officials have not been able to convince enough people to wear masks and practice social distancing to slow the spread of the disease.

A man wearing a face mask walks across the street in Los Angeles, Friday, Aug. 7, 2020.
A man wearing a face mask walks across the street in Los Angeles, Friday, Aug. 7, 2020.

U.S. scientists say they have isolated infectious particles of the coronavirus as far as 4.8 meters away from hospitalized patients.

The scientists said the widely accepted 2-meter social distancing advice provides a “false sense of security” and could result in large groups of people being exposed to the disease. The study, conducted at the university of Florida Health Shands Hospital, has not been peer reviewed.

The Italian cruise ship MSC Grandiosa will began a voyage to the Mediterranean on Sunday, after it and four sister cruise ships were idled by the coronavirus pandemic in Civitavecchia, one of the world’s busiest ports.

The five ships can hold a total of 26,000 people. The four other ships will also resume operations soon, positioning Italy as the epicenter of the effort to resume cruises worldwide.