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In the third year of living and coping with the deadly Covid pandemic, reinfections have become common than before. While scientists are still learning about the odds of a reinfection, recent research, although preliminary, has shed some light.

Reinfection with the virus that causes Covid-19 means a person was infected, recovered, and then later became infected again. After recovering from the disease, most individuals will have some protection from repeat infections. However, reinfections do occur after Covid-19.

A recent ICMR study has shown that people infected with Delta variant of coronavirus remain susceptible to Omicron which proves the latter's immune evasion potential post natural infection and vaccination.

In the study done on a healthcare professional infected during all three Covid waves, ICMR scientists stressed that although vaccine boosters augment the immune response against the Omicron variant, it wanes over time and hence, non pharmacological interventions such as wearing masks, maintaining hand hygiene and infection control remain the most reliable weapons to curb the direct transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

Doctors say reinfections usually appear to be mild in otherwise healthy people. But some reinfections are serious, and it’s not clear what the risk of long Covid might be.

Data from UK suggest reinfections were around 10 times higher in the Omicron variant period than in the Delta variant period.

The UK study said the risk of reinfection was around 10 times higher in the period when the Omicron variant was most common (20 December 2021 to 20 March 2022), compared with the period when the Delta variant was most common (17 May to 19 December 2021).

People were more likely to be reinfected if they were unvaccinated, had a "milder" primary infection with a lower viral load or lived in more deprived areas between July 2020 and March 2022, UK data suggests.

In most recent days, the reinfection rate in the England is about 11%, according to government data. Overall, England has reported around 18.5 million cases, with reinfected ones being about 1 million. In other words, the reifection rate is 5% as compared to recent day figures of 11%.

Doctors and health agencies typically say most people are protected from a Covid reinfection for at least 90 days. Your body’s immune defenses typically strengthen after an infection, then wane.

However, there is evidence that people can get reinfected within shorter periods.

An April Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report identified 10 people who were reinfected with Covid-19 less than 90 days later. In at least one case, reinfection occurred 23 days later.

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