Health

Nearly 16,000 people ‘may have been re-infected with Covid’ in England


Reinfections are defined as people who have tested positive for a second time at least 90 days after first testing positive for the virus.

Of the 15,893 possible reinfections up to May 30, 53 have so far been confirmed by identifying genetically distinct specimens from each episode of illness, Public Health England (PHE) said.

The figures are part of ongoing analysis into reinfection levels, which is currently affected by the limited availability of data for identifying the genomic sequence of the virus, particularly in the early months of the pandemic.

According to a separate report, coronavirus provides at least eight months of immunity against reinfection.

“Infection with SARS-CoV-2 leads to antibody, B cell and T cell responses in almost all individuals, which are sustained for over eight months after infection,” the government’s NERVTAG group said on Friday.

NERVTAG said that people who contract Covid have an 81 per cent chance of not being reinfected or developing symptoms from the virus again for at least seven months.

For those aged over 65 it falls to 47.1 per cent protection – for the same time period.

People who are infected with coronavirus have 69 per cent protection against getting the virus at all for at least six months, but only 40 per cent protection against getting the virus and being asymptomatic during that time, the scientists said.

However they added that new variants could reduce levels of immunity.

Other PHE data has revealed that the Delta (Indian) variant is 64 per cent more contagious than the Alpha (Kent) strain.



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