IF you were unlucky to have Covid, you may not be lucky enough to get it again.
The virus has been circulating for almost two years, and immunity doesn’t last forever.
The best way to protect yourself against a Covid infection – whether it’s the first, second or even third time – is to get vaccinated.
All UK adults are eligible for a full course (two doses) plus a booster shot, which can reduce your risk of having a symptomatic Covid infection, or being hospitalized or dead.
Three-shot was effective against the Omicron variant, which quickly became the most dominant in circulation.
It’s unlikely that the bug will go away, as top scientists say Covid will one day be “endemic” – which means it is as frequently found in the same population as the common cold.
Given the prospect of a world living with Covid, what’s the chance that you could get sick twice?
We review the current evidence to answer that burning question.
Can you catch coronavirus twice?
Yes, it is clearly possible to get the virus twice or more.
In the UK, hundreds of thousands of people have tested positive for Covid on more than one occasion.
Of Omicron cases, between 10 and 15 per cent are reinfection, Professor Neil Ferguson told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
Research by Professor Ferguson with Imperial College London has shown that you are 5 times more likely to contract Covid if you come across the Omicron variant than the Delta one because Omicrons are more likely to evade immunity that has already been acquired. built earlier than that.
The UK Health and Security Service (UKHSA) has estimated around one in 20 new cases of the Omicron variant in the UK are linked to a previous infection, spaced at least 90 days apart.
The findings suggest that Omicron is causing “an increase in the overall rate of reinfection, along with an increase in first infections”.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) Covid-19 Infection Survey reported in October – before Omicron appeared – that the people most likely to contract Covid twice were women, who were only get sick in the first place, people with long-term medical conditions, and people who don’t have a dose of the vaccine.
How long does immunity last?
The chance of contracting Covid twice depends on a variety of factors including immune strength, the prevalence of the virus, the variants circulating, and if someone has been vaccinated since they first contracted it. deadly disease.
When someone is infected with a bug, like Covid, their immune system makes antibodies against it to fight the disease.
The antibodies remember the pathogen so that the next time it shows up, it will be prepared.
But immunity is not always permanent and varies from person to person. It can also be weakened by a new variant that the immune system can’t recognize compared to previous ones.
A study published in The Lancet Bacteria found that unvaccinated people can expect immunity against reinfection to last three to five years after developing Covid if the virus is still circulating in the community. The time period is so large that it cannot answer the question specifically.
But Jeffrey Townsend, Elihu Professor of Biostatistics at the Yale School of Public Health and lead author of the study, warns:Reinfection reasonably likely to occur in three months or less. “
“As new variants emerge, previously immune responses become less effective,” said Alex Dornburg, assistant professor of bioinformatics and genomics at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte who co-led the study. more effective against viruses.
“People who are naturally infected early in the pandemic are increasingly becoming re-finished in the near future. ”
Another study led by University College London found that Covid survivors are protected for at least ten months, meaning they are highly unlikely to catch the bug twice a year.
The first signals of reinfection in the UK came in September 2020, just six months after the first lockdown in March 2020.
Although the coronavirus has been around for almost two years, there are still a lot of unknowns that need to be studied.
There are also other classes of the immune system that are more difficult to study, but that could provide much more lasting protection.
Take for example T cells, which experts have suggested can survive for decades after Covid disease.
Will you be as sick as the second?
While new variants of Covid will increase infection rates even more, Kara Steel, senior statistician for the Covid-19 Infection Survey, said when re-infections occur “generally they are less likely to occur”. potentially causing more serious illness”.
That’s why experts believe that one day Covid will become like other common cold bugs.
Professor Sir John Bell, professor of medicine at the University of Oxford, previously said the virus could resemble the common cold in the spring of 2022, when people’s immunity to the virus is strengthened. through vaccines and exposure.
Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert, who helped develop the AstraZeneca vaccine, said viruses tend to get weaker as they spread around.
Although natural immunity creates a protective barrier, the best way to protect yourself is to get two doses of the Covid vaccine.
Immunity from vaccination wanes, which is why all eligible people are encouraged to have a booster shot. Recommended for the first or second stab is evergreen.
https://www.thesun.ie/health/5255561/covid-can-you-get-twice/ Can you get Covid twice? – Irish Sun