It was a one-two punch of Delta & Omicron 😷
A health care worker in Spain had two separate COVID infections within 20 days, according to scientists who say that's a new record for the shortest gap between cases.
The 31-year-old woman caught the Delta variant a few days before Christmas in December of 2021 and then caught the Omicron variant in January of 2022, according to the findings.
The woman was fully vaccinated and had even received her booster shot 12 days before testing positive for the Delta variant on December 20, during a staff screening test while at work, reported The Guardian.
Scientists say the case shows how some variants, especially Omicron, can evade immunity even after someone has been recently infected and vaccinated.
The woman did not experience any symptoms when she first contracted the Delta variant in December but still isolated for 10 days before returning to work, the scientists said.
However, a few weeks later, on January 10, she developed a cough and fever, prompting her to get tested again. This time, her results showed a positive case of Omicron.
Her tests were then analyzed, and it was confirmed that two different strains of the novel coronavirus had infected her in less than three weeks.
There is a 90-day requirement in the U.K. before a case is considered reinfection. Under this definition, there have been potentially 900,000 reinfection cases as of April, reported BBC.
Dr. Gemma Recio, a study author from the Institut Català de la Salut, said that the "case highlights the potential of the Omicron variant to evade the previous immunity acquired either from a natural infection with other variants or from vaccines" during a presentation at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.
"In other words, people who have had COVID-19 cannot assume they are protected against reinfection, even if they have been fully vaccinated," said Recio.
However, that doesn’t mean previous infections and vaccination are entirely useless in the face of Omicron, Recio said. She said that "both previous infection with other variants and vaccination do seem to partially protect against severe disease and hospitalization in those with Omicron."
Health Canada has a robust website with all the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines and can answer any questions you may have.
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.