Omicron 2: can I get reinfected after being cured of Omicron?

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Elia Tabuenca García
@eliatabuencagarcía

Coronavirus reinfection depends on the amount of neutralizing antibodies a person has - if they are few in number, there is a higher chance of reinfection. To address this problem, science always examines the available data and the evidence at hand that comes from past cases


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The Micron 2 - declared in the UK as a “variant under observation” (VUI) - carries with it a certainty: it is easily transmitted. So the question everyone is asking is: Can I get reinfected after being cured of Omicron 1? What do we know about the new mutation? To give us an answer is the report published by the UK Health Security Agency.




The Omicron 2 variant (BA.2) actually shows a higher speed than the original strain and countries such as Denmark, where it is slowly becoming prevalent, are demonstrating this. According to initial data, however, this is not a more dangerous mutation and does not raise particular concerns.

Read also: Home quick swabs and Omicron variant: the whole truth, between psychosis and misinformation

The UKHSA report disclosed the first information gathered from the day of its identification.

In Denmark and Great Britain there was an increase in the number of Omicron BA.2 sub-lineage sequences in the week from January 3, 2022. "The peak profile of BA.2 contains 28 mutations," the report reads.

So how contagious is Omicron 2?

©UKHSA

The Omicron BA.2 variant, the report reads, exhibits a higher growth rate than BA.1 in all regions of England, while rate growth may be overestimated at the start of the emergence of a variant, l apparent growth advantage is currently substantial.

A possible reinfection

According to the report, no sequence-confirmed BA.2 reinfection was detected in England following a BA.1 infection. Anyone who has become infected with the Omicron variant in the past two months is likely to be protected at least in the short term.

This is also confirmed by a study awaiting evaluation and conducted by researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, which excludes the hypothesis that people infected with BA.1 can reinfect themselves if the second variant can take over.

The research carried out two different tests: using the serum of 24 vaccinated people, it verified whether the appearance of Omicron 2 leads to a loss of protective capacity of the vaccines compared to Omicron 1. The reduction in efficacy is there, but far less . Specifically, with two doses of vaccine, while for Omicron there is a 23-fold reduction in the neutralizing capacity of antibodies compared to Whuan virus, with Omicron 2 the reduction is 27-fold. With the third dose, the reduction in efficacy is significantly attenuated: it is 6,1 times for Omicron 1 and 8,4 times for Omicron 2. The second part of the study tested, in 8 people who had fallen ill with Omicron 1 , if the antibodies developed as a result of the infection were protective against Omicron 2. The tests showed a reduction in the neutralizing capacity of the antibodies of between 25 and 30%, not enough, according to the researchers, to make them vulnerable to reinfection.



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Sources: UKHSA / BIDMC

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