New Delhi [India], February 5 (ANI): Health experts say reinfection of people with COVID-19 within two to three weeks of their last infection is because of the ‘immune escape capacity’ of the virus.
The experts, who have been dealing with COVID-19 patients, while speaking to ANI, said that reinfection is possible and chances are higher among people who have been infected during the Omicron-driven third wave.
They also advised all not to lower their guard at this point or after having recovered from the infection.
Dr DS Rana, Chairman, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital told ANI, “People who have been infected earlier are turning positive again.
They are getting reinfected within a gap of two or three weeks because if the virus enters inside you, reinfection can happen. This primarily happens because this virus has the capacity to immune escape.
This virus is escaping immunity. At this point, we can’t afford to lower our immunity.”
The antigenic escape, immune escape, immune evasion or escape mutation occurs when the immune system of a host, especially of a human being, is unable to respond to an infectious agent.
The host’s immune system is no longer able to recognize and eliminate a pathogen, such as a virus.
Dr Suranjit Chatterjee, Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine, Apollo Hospital said, “The reinfection rate is higher with Omicron variant than compared to the Delta variant because what has been seen is immune escape phenomenon is stronger in Omicron rather than Delta or any other variant so far. When studies were conducted it was found that the risk of reinfection is higher in people infected with Omicron.”
Omicron variant (B.1.1.529), the mutant of the Coronavirus, though mild in nature, acted as a superspreader. It was first reported in Botswana on November 11, 2021, and appeared on November 14 in South Africa. It was immediately declared a variant of concern by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Anecdotal evidence shows that in South Africa, people have been infected with Omicron again after recovering from the disease caused by the virus.
Meanwhile, India reported 1,27,952 fresh COVID-19 cases, 2,30,814 recoveries, and 1,059 deaths in the last 24 hours.
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