How new variants can affect your chances of re-infection from covid

In 2021, it seemed that coronavirus reinfections were rare. Yes, they did happen, but the vast majority of people who had already had Covid probably wouldn’t get the virus again any time soon.

But recent data suggests reinfections are becoming more common, especially as new variants emerge. The rise in reinfections is likely influenced by two factors: one, that newer variants can evade the antibody response and reinfect, and two, that we are now more rigorously documenting reinfections and getting a more accurate picture of their frequency .

Coronaviruses are known to infect people over and over again. In fact, the common cold coronaviruses circulating today (and frequently reinfecting people) are widely believed to have originated from previous coronavirus epidemics.

Many infectious disease clinicians suspect that, as with those strains, we may be susceptible to reinfections, but that symptoms will get milder over time.

“As we get more immunity, as our T cells diversify and expand, hopefully our second reinfection won’t feel as bad as the first infection,” he said. Monica Gandhiinfectious disease specialist at the University of California, San Francisco.

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