Covid: Risk of reinfection ‘eight times’ higher with Omicron than Delta – two key symptoms

Omicron: GP explains ‘overwhelming’ science behind vaccines

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The Omicron variant has driven the most recent wave of coronavirus infections, asserting itself as the dominant strain. How far protection extends between infections from COVID-19 has remained in question. Recent data have confirmed the risk of reinfection may be substantially higher with Omicron than it was with Delta.

A recent study publish on the BioMed Central website, for the journal of Global Health Research and Policy, probed the risk of reinfection from coronavirus.

For their meta-analysis, researchers looked at 50 studies spanning 20 countries.

“There were 118 cases of reinfection. Twenty-five patients were reported to have at least one complication. The shortest duration between the first infection and reinfection was 19 days and the longest was 293 days,” noted the authors.

“During the first infection and reinfections, cough (51.6 percent and 43.9 percent) and fever (50 percent and 30.3 percent) were the most common symptoms respectively.”

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According to the data, 33 patients were infected by different strains and nine patients were reported as being infected with the same strain.

A significant number of anecdotal reports made during the Omicron wave of the pandemic described “milder” symptoms during the secondary infection, compared to the first.

The Omicron variant, however, has been tougher to decipher due to its mild symptoms, which are comparable to the common cold.

In rare cases, however, people infected have reported getting different types of skin eruptions.

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These include hives, prickly heat and chilblain, which can all cause the skin to become red and itchy.

Data from the ZOE Covid Symptoms Study has gone as far as to suggest the rash should be considered a key diagnostic sign of the disease.

Experts said the breakouts may even occur in the absence of other coronavirus symptoms.

Secondary infections from Omicron

According to recent data, there is evidence that the risk of reinfection differs greatly for each strain of COVID-19.

The Office for National Statistics yesterday confirmed that reinfections from coronavirus are eight times higher with Omicron than Delta.

In other words, the risk of COVID-19 re-infection was approximately eight times higher in the period when the Omicron variants were most common, compared with when the Delta variant was more common.

The body also confirmed that people who were unvaccinated continued to be more likely to be re-infected with COVID-19 than people who had been vaccinated.

The chances of reinfection hinge on the body’s innate immunity, according to officials at the World Health Organisation.

When the body first encounters the virus it calls on the innate immune system to produce B and T cells.

B cells produce immunoglobulins, which are maintained for a period of time before levels start to wane.

This typically occurs within three to six months after the initial infection, hence the need for immunisation top-ups in the form of booster vaccines.

What’s more, the need for ongoing top-ups may be warranted, as a study by Imperial College London recently confirmed infections in England have climbed to record levels.

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