A 31-year-old Spanish health worker contracted covid-19 twice in 20 days, Spanish researchers confirmed.
It’s about the shortest gap between two recorded infections in the world.
The tests showed that the woman was infected with two different variants: the delta at the end of December and omicron in January.
This shows that even having had covid before, a person can become infected again even if they have completed the full vaccination schedule, the researchers say.
No symptoms the first, the second no
The woman did not develop any symptoms after her first positive PCR, but less than three weeks later she started cough and feverwhich motivated her to take another test.
When the tests were analyzed, they revealed that the patient had been infected with two variants of coronavirus.
In a presentation at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, study author Dr Gemma Recio said the case showed that the omicron variant can “evade prior immunityacquired either by natural infection with other variants or by vaccinations”.
“In other words, people who have had covid-19 they cannot assume they are protected against reinfection, even if they have received a full vaccination schedule.
“However, both prior infection with other variants and vaccination seem partially protect against severe illness and hospitalization in those with omicron,” added Recio, a researcher at the Catalan Institute of Health in Tarragona, Spain.
Two or more
In Recio’s opinion, it is important to monitor reinfections in fully vaccinated people since this can contribute to the search for variants that evade vaccines.
In the United Kingdom, for example, reinfections of covid dramatically increased in 2021after the (much more contagious) omicrom variant emerged, and then there was another surge when a slightly different version of it – called BA.2 – appeared in early March.
Before that, 1% of all cases recorded in the UK were classified as a second infection, but that figure now stands at 11%.
The majority are likely to be people infected with the alpha or delta variants, who later became infected with omicron.
Scientists predict that eventually we will all get covid twice, and probably many morein the course of life.
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