How antibodies protect us from viruses

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(CNN) – One of the ways our immune system protects us from viruses is through antibodies.

Antibodies attach themselves to parts of viruses and alerts white blood cells to come in, attack and eliminate the virus. (Source: CNN)

Antibodies are proteins in our blood that attach themselves to parts of viruses.

That limits the infection.

It also alerts white blood cells to come in, attack and eliminate the virus.

So, in many cases, if the body encounters the same virus again, the immune system has left over antibodies that are taught and remember the previous infection.

These cells can either fight off the deadly virus directly or they can produce more antibodies to help prevent the infection.

Researchers aren’t entirely sure why this process works so well for some viruses, but not others.

Our immune system seems to remember some viruses better than others.

A person is generally protected for life after one encounter with viruses like chickenpox or polio.

However, there are some viruses that our immune systems seem to easily forget.

Scientists have reported that immunity could be short-lived after encounters with some common seasonal coronaviruses which can cause the common cold.

That could help explain why we can repeatedly get sick with something as simple as a cold even if we think we’ve been exposed to cold viruses before.

We could be getting exposed to new strains as well.

And some viruses like the flu can mutate often, which means our old antibodies no longer work against these strains.

While most experts do believe that we’re probably going to have some protection after being infected with the coronavirus, we’re still not sure just how long that protection will be or how strong.

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