Madrid, Apr 21 (EFE).- A female health worker in Spain caught Covid-19 twice in just 20 days, Spanish researchers said Thursday.
The 31-year-old woman, who was fully vaccinated with three doses, first tested positive for the Delta variant coronavirus and three weeks later tested positive for the Omicron variant.
According to Spanish researchers, the 20-day gap between infections is the shortest known to scientists.
“This 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,” Gemma Recio, of Institut Català de Salut in Spain and one of the study’s authors, said in a statement.
“In other words, people who have had Covid-19 cannot assume they are protected against reinfection, even if they have been fully vaccinated,” Recio continued.
The researcher added that “both previous infection with other variants and vaccination do seem to partially protect against severe disease and hospitalization in those with Omicron.”
“This case also underscores the need to carry out genomic surveillance of viruses in infections in those who are fully vaccinated and in reinfections,” Recio said. “Such monitoring will help detect variants with the ability to partially evade the immune response.”
The case will be presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) in Lisbon, Portugal which starts Saturday.
The woman first tested positive for Covid-19 during a PCR screening at her workplace on December 20.
She did not have any symptoms and was quarantined for 10 days.
On January 10, she developed a cough, fever and general malaise, for which another PCR test was conducted which also tested positive.
Whole-genome sequencing showed that the patient had been infected by two different strains of SARS-CoV-2.
The first infection was with the Delta variant and the second with Omicron, which is much more infectious than Delta and can side-step immunity from previous infections and vaccinations. EFE