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Dengue fever may provide immunity against Covid-19

CAPE TOWN – A recent study that analysed the Coronavirus outbreak in Brazil found that exposure to dengue fever may provide immunity against Covid-19.

The study led by a professor at Duke University, Miguel Nicolelis, compared the geographic spread of coronavirus cases to the mosquito-transmitted illness, dengue, in 2019 and 2020 with the research point out places with lower coronavirus infection rates and infection rate growth were locations that had suffered from dengue outbreaks within the last year.

“This striking finding raises the intriguing possibility of an immunological cross-reactivity between dengue’s Flavivirus serotypes and Sars-CoV-2,” the study said, referring to dengue virus antibodies and the novel Coronavirus.

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Against the Coronavirus, the study report added, “If proven correct, this hypothesis could mean that dengue infection or immunisation with an efficacious and safe dengue vaccine could produce some level of immunological protection”

Nicolelis said their findings are quite interesting due to previous studies suggesting that those found with dengue antibodies tested falsely positive for Covid-19 antibodies despite never being infected by the coronavirus.

“This indicates that there is an immunological interaction between two viruses that nobody could have expected because the two viruses are from completely different families,” Nicolelis said, pointing out that further studies need to take place to prove the connection between Covid-19 and dengue fever.

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