The current wave of infections covid-19, with record numbers exceeding two million cases daily, is causing enormous pressure across the planet. People have not been able to identify the difference between the symptoms caused by this new strain (the omicron), the viral picture of the common cold and the flu-like manifestations of previous variants.
(Keep reading: This is the effectiveness of Chinese vaccines against omicron)
Furthermore, as infections by omicron, isolation, test taking and biosafety regulations change in many parts of the world, generating uncertainty about this new variant.
(You may be interested: 98% of covid cases in Bogotá are omicron: ABC of measures)
Perhaps one of the questions that most arouses curiosity about this new ‘tsunami of infections’ is whether a person can be reinfected after having had covid-19 previously.
To answer this question, the infectologist Carlos Álvarez, national coordinator of studies on covid-19 in Colombia, delegated by the WHO, explains that the risk of reinfection was extremely low with the variants circulating until 2021.
(Also read: The reason why more than 50% of Europe could be infected in weeks)
Now, with the circulation of the omicron variant, this risk has increased because one of the capacities of this strain is to evade the defenses generated by vaccines, but also by immunity acquired naturally, that is, when a person recovers from covid-19.
“For now, we can say that a person is at risk of being reinfected if they have already had a previous infection with another variant and acquire the omicron variant. We don’t know how much protection this variant generates, but we would expect it to protect because the response depends on how can often reinfect a person”, mentioned the expert.
Given the information on the main role of immunizers, it is undeniable that the frequency of reinfections or positive diagnoses among vaccinated people has increased in recent times.
(Of your interest: Ómicron: everything you need to know about the dominant variant of covid-19)
“This highlighted the need for a third dose. First, for the elderly and immunosuppressed. Then, for the entire adult population”, recently explained the pediatrician and specialist in infectious diseases Renato Kfouri, director of the Brazilian Society of Immunizations (SBIm).
Some studies have shown that omicron is a variant that is five to ten times milder in terms of symptoms, but it is a much more transmissible strain and has the ability to avoid immunity obtained with vaccines or with a previous condition of covid-19.
“Given this, the infection in the vaccinated must be seen as something absolutely common and we will have to learn to live with this situation”, opina Kfouri.
“Fortunately, this recent increase in covid cases has translated into a lower rate of hospitalizations and deaths, especially among people who have already been vaccinated“, says the director of SBIm.
(We recommend you read: Considering ómicron as a slight variant is a mistake, according to the WHO)
Dr. Carlos Álvarez added that it is essential to continue with vaccination and complete immunization schedules and booster doses, in addition to maintaining self-care measures, to avoid a reinfection of the virus. The expert stressed that the more time passes and the virus continues to circulate, the risk of reinfection could increase.
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