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Can I catch covid twice a month? Here’s how likely you are to catch the virus as UK cases rise

Scientists have warned that a new wave of infections has begun as two sub-variants of Covid have led to an increase in cases.

More than 3.8 million people in the UK have the virus, a weekly increase of 7 per cent, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This growth is largely due to Omicron Options BA.4 and BA.5, the ONS said.

More than two years after the first case in the UK, millions of Britons have been infected with the virus and some will have it repeatedly.

But how likely is reinfection, and how much protection do vaccines and booster shots offer?

Here’s everything you need to know.

How common are covid re-infections?

When the Omicron variant hit the UK last December, re-infection rates increased 15-fold.

Scientists believe that Omicron’s extensive mutation allowed the virus to overcome any established immunity.

This is why so many people who have been vaccinated or had the virus are reinfected at Christmas.

Danny Altman, professor of immunology at Imperial College London guardOmicron is “poorly immunogenic, meaning that catching it offers little additional protection against being caught again.”

Re-infection rates spiked when Omicron landed in the UK over Christmas

(AP)

While the new BA.4 and BA.5 variants come from the Omicron line, “it is now further evidence of the very limited ability of the earlier Omicron to establish any immune memory for BA.4 or BA.5,” said Professor Altman.

This means that even if you had Omicron during the Christmas and New Year wave, it is still possible for you to catch the virus again.

Professor Tim Spector, who directs ZOE Covid App told him guard: “There are actually a lot of people who got Covid earlier in the year who are still getting it, including some with BA.4/5 who had BA.1/2 just four months ago who thought they would be safe. .”

However, the professor added that it is “rare” to be reinfected with Covid within three months.

What if I am vaccinated?

The new BA.4 and BA.5 variants contain mutations not present in earlier Omicron strains.

So even if you have been vaccinated and had a booster shot, you are still vulnerable to the new sub-variants.

Researchers from China reported in the journal ability that the new subvariants “specifically avoid neutralizing antibodies induced by SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination.”

Vaccinated and boosted people may still catch the new sub-variants of Omicron

(AP)

BA.1 virus-based vaccine boosters, such as those developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, “may not achieve broad-spectrum protection against the new Omicron variants,” the researchers warned.

“My personal bias is that while there may be some advantage to having an Omicron-specific vaccine, I think it will be of marginal benefit over current vaccines and boosters,” said Dr. Onyema Ogbuagu, an infectious disease researcher at Yale. School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut.

“Despite immune evasion, there can be an expectation that vaccines will still protect against serious diseases,” said Dr. Ogbuagu.

“If you need a booster, get a booster. What we’ve learned clinically is that it’s most important to keep vaccines fresh.”

How bad will my symptoms be if I get infected again?

As a rule, infections are relieved by the second or third time due to the body’s residual immunity.

However, according to preliminary data from Professor Kei Sato of the University of Tokyo and colleagues, the new subvariants may have evolved to restore infection in lung cells rather than upper airway tissue.

This makes them more similar to the earlier and heavier Alpha and Delta variants.

Dr Stephen Griffin, a virologist at the University of Leeds, said: “These things seem to be recapturing a more dangerous form of infection, so it goes down into the lungs.”

While it is still too early to tell whether symptoms will be more aggressive in cases of reinfection, the risk of these new Omicron variants is “potentially higher than the original BA.2,” said Professor Sato.

Can I catch covid twice a month? Here’s how likely you are to catch the virus as UK cases rise

Source link Can I catch covid twice a month? Here’s how likely you are to catch the virus as UK cases rise

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