Is it possible to contract Omicron twice?
Omicron, the latest and the fastest-spreading variant of SARS-CoV-2, can infect the same person twice and it may not be very rare, experts said as the world is grappling with a fresh wave of the two-year-old pandemic, presently being driven by the Omicron.
Epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding said Omicron reinfection is certainly possible if the first Omicron infection was of a ‘low-dose’ that did not stimulate the immune system enough. Another condition for Omicron reinfection could be heavily compromised immunity.
Reports of reinfection are already popping up on social media, and Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced this week on Twitter that he’s been infected with Covid19 again after having the virus early last year.
Omicron also has a large number of mutations including at least 34 on its spike protein, which is what the virus uses to latch onto your cells and “it’s so very contagious,” Dr. Schaffner says. “People shed so much virus with Omicron. As with other infections, sometimes immunity can be swamped if the exposure is very intense,” he adds.
Prof Alex Dornburg, assistant professor of bioinformatics and genomics at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, said: “As new variants arise, previous immune responses become less effective at combating the virus.
“Those who were naturally infected early in the pandemic are increasingly likely to become reinfected in the near future.”