A woman allegedly caught the novel coronavirus twice within 20 days, setting a potential record for quickest reinfection.

Details: A 31-year-old health care worker tested positive for two different COVID-19 variants between the final days of December 2021 and the early part of January 2022, per The Guardian.

  • She was reportedly infected with the delta variant in December.
  • Her omicron variant infection came 20 days later.
  • Her story was detailed in a Spanish research paper that was presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

What they said: This case showed that the omicron variant can “evade the previous immunity acquired either from a natural infection with other variants or from vaccines,” study author Dr. Gemma Recio said at the congressional meeting, per BBC News.

  • “In other words, people who have had Covid-19 cannot assume they are protected against reinfection, even if they have been fully vaccinated.
  • “Nevertheless, both previous infection with other variants and vaccination do seem to partially protect against severe disease and hospitalization in those with Omicron,” added Dr. Recio, from the Institut Catala de Salut, Tarragona in Spain.
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The bigger picture: Researchers are still investigating how the omicron variant can reinfect people who have natural immunity. As COVID-19 restrictions loosen around the United States, reinfections from omicron may only continue to happen.

  • In fact, a new study — published by Nature Portfolio and published on Research Square ahead of peer review — found that the antibodies created by the omicron variant don’t always neutralize other variants of the coronavirus.
  • The researchers found that the antibodies created by the omicron BA.1 variant and the BA.2 variant don’t ward off other variants.