New Data Suggests A Low Risk Of Covid-19 Reinfection

There are 53 confirmed cases of Covid reinfection in England. Image: Pixabay

New data suggests there is a low risk of Covid-19 reinfection, but it has happened.

According to Public Health England (PHE), the current data shows that there is a low risk of reinfection with Covid. There were 15,893 possible reinfections identified up to May 30, 2021 in England throughout the pandemic, out of nearly four million people with confirmed infections.

“This is equivalent to around 0.4 per cent of cases becoming reinfected,” PHE said in a report released on June 17.

Dr Susan Hopkins, Strategic Director for Covid-19 at PHE said, “People are understandably concerned about whether you can catch Covid-19 more than once. While we know that people can catch viruses more than once, this data currently suggests that the rate of Covid-19 reinfection is low. However, it is important that we do not become complacent about this – it is vital to have both doses of the vaccine and to follow the guidance at all times to reduce your chance of any infection.

“We continue to learn more each day about this virus and its variants. Through continued close monitoring and research, we will understand how best we can control outbreaks and the impact this virus will have on society over the coming years.

“This data shows reinfections from June 2020 up until the end of May 2021 and PHE will continue to look at the impact of vaccines and severity of illness in reinfections. Current evidence suggests that most reinfections will not cause symptoms. Work is ongoing to better understand the factors that make someone more likely to catch Covid-19 again and also the impact of vaccine status.

“There is currently no evidence that the Delta variant, or any other Variants of Concern, are more likely to cause reinfection than others, but we will closely monitor this,” she added.

The population surveillance suggests that there were:

15,893 possible reinfections

A possible reinfection is identified where consecutive positive test results in the same person are at least 90 days apart. These are reinfections which have not been sequenced and it is not completely certain they are not the same original infection.

478 probable reinfections

A probable reinfection is identified when sequencing of the second test sample identifies a variant known to be circulating now and/or that was not circulating at the time of the first test.

53 confirmed reinfections

A confirmed reinfection is where sequences are available from each episode and the sequences are genetically distinct.

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Written by

Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.