Health

How quickly can you get Covid again? When you can catch coronavirus after having it and reinfection explained


Covid rates are on the rise across the UK and chances are you know someone who has had it.

It’s getting harder and harder to find someone who hasn’t had it at least once, and many report multiple cases.

Here’s everything you need to know.

Can you get Covid more than once?

Yes, you can get Covid multiple times, especially now there are so many different variants that have become dominant at different times.

An analysis by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) published in December found that about one in ten people with the Omicron variant in England had previously contracted Covid-19.

British research by Omicron has shown that a previous Covid infection does little to protect against the new strain.

Researchers at Imperial College London found that the Omicron variant largely evaded immunity from a past Covid infection or two doses of the vaccine.

How quickly can you get re-infected?

Studies have shown that people who have recovered from Covid-19 may have immunity from three months to several years.

However, it is possible that some people may be re-infected sooner.

Dr. William Schaffner, Professor of Preventive Medicine and Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center: “There are people who are of the opinion that after a natural infection, you will be forever protected from Covid-19, as if it were measles. .

“But the two viruses that cause these infections are very, very different. Coronavirus protection naturally weakens after a while.”

An October 2021 Yale School of Public Health study found that unvaccinated people should be immune from reinfection for between three and 61 months.

However, these data were recorded and published before the appearance of the Omicron variant.

What is officially considered reinfection?

More than one positive test for any variant of Covid-19 within a 90-day time period is considered part of the same case, and if you get a positive result several weeks after the first positive test, it is more likely that this is due to residual effects of the primary infections.

Positive tests outside of the 90 day period are now considered reinfection.

Covid rates are on the rise (Photo: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty)

This is a change from the previous UKHSA methodology whereby people who tested positive for Covid-19 were counted only once in the number of cases published on the daily dashboard when they first tested positive.

Repeated positive tests were not taken into account.

Why is re-infection so common?

British research by Omicron has shown that a previous Covid infection does little to protect against the new strain.

Researchers at Imperial College London found that the Omicron variant largely evaded immunity from a past Covid infection or two doses of the vaccine.

A study of all PCR-confirmed Covid cases in England between November 29 and December 11 found that patients who had already contracted the coronavirus had only about 19% protection from Omicron.

The figure roughly corresponded to two doses of the Covid vaccine, which scientists estimated were 20% more effective against the new variant.

Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London said: “This study provides additional evidence for the very significant extent to which Omicron can evade prior immunity created by both infection and vaccination.”

Ministers noted that the data showed the importance of the booster injection, which is thought to provide protection in about 55 to 80 percent of symptomatic cases.

More from Health

What are the Covid rates?

As of March 18, hospital admissions across the UK are up 24.8% from a week, although the number of patients in intensive care remains low.

The number of people who tested positive increased by 38.1% in seven days.

A total of 163,511 people have died within 28 days of testing positive for coronavirus.



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