Can you get Covid twice? Reinfection ’16 times higher since Omicron became dominant’

When it comes to getting Covid twice, more people are getting reinfected in the last month since Omicron became the dominant variant than in the last 18 months, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) reported.

Unfortunately, what is certain is that you can definitely get Covid twice.

Prince Charles announced today he’d tested positive for the virus again after falling ill the first time in March 2020.

The prince is one of many with reinfections according to the latest reinfection report from the ONS.

After Omicron was identified in late November 2021, it became the UK’s dominant variant in less than a month.

The risk of getting Covid again was 5.4 times greater with Omicron than with Delta, Imperial College London researchers reported in December.

Although the Omicron surge peaked in early January, reinfections are still popping up.

Here’s the latest information on Covid reinfections.

Can you get Covid twice?

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 30: A woman wears a protective face mask as she travels on the public transport system on November 30, 2021 in London, England.  From today it is mandatory for people to wear facemasks in shops and traveling on public transport or face a £200 fine.  The Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus is thought to be more easily transmitted and more resistant to vaccines than previous variants.  There have been cases found in England and Scotland and a travel ban from several southern African countries has already been implemented.  (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
You can get Covid twice and the latest figures show reinfection cases are higher now than ever

Released February 2, the most recent ONS report was a survey on Covid reinfections covering cases up to January 23.

It analyzed Covid reinfections in periods in which different variants dominated, such as Omicron, Delta and Alpha.

The risk of reinfection soared to be almost 16 times higher when Omicron was the dominant variant.

Here are the main points of the report.

  • There were more Covid reinfections in the last month since Omicron became the dominant variant compared to the previous 18 months.
  • The viral load – that is, the amount of virus – in a person’s second infection were higher than in the first during times when Omicron and Delta were dominant.
  • The risk of symptoms in a person’s second infection was 1.69 times higher during a Delta-dominant period compared to their first infection.
  • There were similar percentages of symptomatic second infections in either Omicron or Delta dominant times.
  • When Omicron dominated, there was no difference in the risk of symptoms in a second infection compared to the first.
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The report noted: “There has been a sharp increase in reinfection rates since the Omicron variant became dominant in December 2021.”

How many Covid reinfections are there?

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JUNE 29: Shoppers wearing face masks walk along Princess Street as the Scottish Lockdown eases and shops reopen on June 29, 2020 in Edinburgh, Scotland.  Shops with on-street access opened their doors as non-essential retailers across Scotland were allowed to trade again.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Reuters analysis estimates reinfections make up 10 percent of daily cases

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) began reporting reinfections in the Covid daily dashboard on January 31.

“Reinfection remained at very low levels until the start of the Omicron wave. It is right that our daily reporting processes reflect how the virus has changed,” said Professor Steven Riley, the UKHSA’s Director General of Data and Analytics.

Reuters estimates suspected reinfections account for 9.9 percent of daily cases, according to an analysis of UKHSA data.

Before Omicron, the reinfection figure was two percent for almost six months, Reuters estimated.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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