Home Covid News and Updates Omicron reinfections may occur but not dangerous: Experts

Omicron reinfections may occur but not dangerous: Experts

by Vaishali Sharma

Many people get re-infected with Covid-19 within 2-3 weeks of their prior infection, but hospital authorities and health experts say the majority of these cases are minor and represent no threat to the country’s return to normalcy. Most specialists blame the Omicron variant’s “immune escape” capability for the higher likelihood of reinfection.

“It is not ideal, but it does not seem to be dangerous,” said Anurag Agrawal, director of the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB).

Farah Ingale, director, internal medicine at Fortis Hiranandani Hospital Vashi, said the hospital is seeing new cases of reinfection, especially in the third wave, for which Omicron is responsible.

“We have seen patients getting infected again with the Omicron infection within two to three weeks…because the host immune system is not able to recognise and eliminate a pathogen,” she said. “Though mild, it (Omicron) is definitely known to cause reinfections.”
Responding to cases of reinfection, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) director general Balram Bhargava on Thursday said infection by one variant of Covid-19 does not provide protection from other variants. Niti Aayog member VK Paul said, “It is a fact that the vaccine protection and natural immunity protection do not completely guarantee that one would not be reinfected again.”

He said that the issue is being constantly discussed across the world including India.

Suranjit Chatterjee, senior consultant at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital in New Delhi, said studies suggest that Omicron reinfection can be more common because of its immune escape ability. “Also it could always be a different variant or mutant causing it,” he said.

Ingale of Fortis Hiranandani said Omicron “has caused a lot of infections, superinfections, and reinfections, as well”.

This post has been published from a syndicate feed with some changes to the text and headline.

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