Two-Thirds of People with Omicron have been Infected with COVID-19 Before
Two-thirds of people recently infected with Omicron say they have had COVID-19 before. This establishes the large and ongoing “React” study among coronavirus-tested volunteers in England.
It remains to be seen how many have actually been re-infected, but the results show which groups can be re-infected with COVID-19: health workers, members of households with children, or people living in large households.
More than 2 million people took part in the study.
The latest results, for the first two weeks of 2022, are based on about 100,000 PCR tests performed by volunteers. About 4,000 of them are positive, which is the highest level since the beginning of the pandemic. When the samples were sequenced to determine the variant, virtually all turned out to be Omicron.
At this stage, there are no data on how many of the volunteers have completed the vaccination cycle.
Two out of three (65%) of the infected volunteers confirmed that they had tested positive for COVID-19 before. Many of them may actually be re-infected. In others, the test may detect old traces of the virus.
According to estimates other than the current study, one in 10 cases of Omicron is re-infected.
“React” Program Director Prof. Paul Elliott of King's College London confirms that there is a sharp increase in children's cases and this will be complicated by the start of the second term. There is an increase in people over the age of 65, which raises concerns about more hospitalizations.
“Although vaccines may not stop any infection, they do an excellent job of preventing severe illness,” the health ministry said, advising, “if you're going to visit friends or family, get tested beforehand.”
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