COVID Reinfection, The New Normal?

Previous variants of the Coronavirus provided high levels of natural immunity post-infection, mutations of the Omicron strain are changing the game…. again.

June 3rd, 2022

Just when we seem to get a grip on the Coronavirus, scientists and data shows new reports and information.

If you’re like almost 60% of Americans, you’ve probably experienced the short and unfortunate long term symptoms of COVID-19. Unfortunately, that number is very likely incorrectly low due to a sharp decline in testing and reporting since the introduction of at-home rapid tests.

In the beginning of the pandemic, reinfections were rare considering the high level of natural immunity gained from a bout with this elusive virus. On top of this, one cannot be “reinfected” without being “infected” in the first place.

The optimistic hope for this virus was that it was a “one and done”, but new data shows that for many people, that is not the case.

As immunity falls over time, mask mandates and travel/gathering restrictions drop, and this super-spreader mutates further, reinfections may just become common-place.

Aubree Gordon, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the University of Michigan, is not surprised about the rising numbers of re-infections. “The virus has changed a lot,” she says. If you were infected with an earlier variant, Omicron is like that variety wearing a wig and makeup—making it largely unrecognizable to our bodies’ immune defenses and harder to stave off.

All over the world there are emerging reports of second, third, even fourth infections. This doesn’t even include cases in which one of the infections may have been asymptomatic or not reported.

A complicating factor of increasing re-infection rates is new Subvariants of Omicron that are also on the rise. Subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 have several mutations that help the virus evade antibodies gained from previous infection or vaccination according to VaccinesWork.

Although it is unclear as of yet whether these new subvariants cause more severe symptoms than BA.2.12.1 and BA.2, the time to start taking precautions to protect yourself and your family is now.

Personal ways to combat COVID include proper hand washing, social distancing, mask wearing, surface disinfecting and taking advantage of the season by choosing outdoor activities over indoor ones.

Combatting the virus on a larger scale means we need more widespread, consistent testing. Test if you show any symptoms or come into contact with anyone else with them, and report your results to your doctor or local health department.

Clear Health Pass® knows that testing is uncomfortable, inconvenient, and costly and we aim to change that, thereby making it less objectionable for everyone.

Stay safe, happy, and Healthy.

Clear Health Pass®

Sources:

https://www.wired.com/story/welcome-to-the-great-reinfection/

https://www.deseret.com/coronavirus/2022/6/2/23151850/new-omicron-subvariants-ba-4-ba-5-are-worrying-experts

https://www.gavi.org/vaccineswork/five-things-weve-learned-about-ba4-and-ba5-omicron-variants