If you’ve previously had Covid-19, you may be wondering if it’s possible to get infected with the virus again.
But how soon can you catch Covid after your previous infection and can you get it twice in a month?
Here’s what you need to know.
Can you get Covid-19 more than once?
Yes, it is possible to get Covid more than once.
When someone catches Covid, their immune system will generate a response that helps them to fight off the virus if they are exposed to it again, but it is possible that a person will become infected with coronavirus more than once.
Two-thirds of people recently infected with the Omicron variant have said they had already had Covid previously.
The findings come from a large, continuing React study, which swab-tests thousands of volunteers in England.
More work is needed to know how many are true reinfections, but the results reveal the groups that appear to be more likely to catch Covid again, including healthcare workers and households with children or lots of members under one roof.
How soon can you get Covid after your first infection?
It’s not clear how long this initial immune response lasts after the first infection with Covid, and it’s likely to vary between people.
According to the Lancet, a memory B-cell response to Covid evolves between 1-3 and 6-2 months after infection, which is consistent with longer-term protection.
The NHS website said that you should self-isolate even if you’ve had a positive test result for Covid-19 before.
“You probably have some immunity to the virus but it’s not clear how long it lasts,” the NHS said.
You may also need to self-isolate if someone you live with gets symptoms. The person with symptoms should get a test.
If you get symptoms of Covid again, even if you have had coronavirus before, you should self-isolate immediately and get a PCR test.
The symptoms are:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
Can I pass the virus on if I don’t have symptoms?
Anyone who is infected with Covid could pass on the virus, regardless of whether they are experiencing symptoms or not.
Many people who get Covid never experience symptoms, but the main way of passing on coronavirus is through droplets in the air - such as coughing, sneezing or talking, which means that even if you don’t have a cough, fever or other symptoms, you can still pass it on to people around you.
What about Covid vaccines?
The best protection against coronavirus for yourself and others is the Covid vaccine.
According to the NHS, research has shown the vaccines help:
- reduce your risk of getting seriously ill or dying from Covid-19
- reduce your risk of catching or spreading Covid-19
- protect against Covid-19 variants
The first dose should give you some protection from three or four weeks after you’ve had it, but you need two doses for stronger and longer-lasting protection.
There is a chance you might still get or spread Covid-19 even if you have a vaccine, so it’s important to follow advice about how to avoid catching and spreading Covid-19, the NHS said.
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