Alberta Health: Last News

Omicron COVID-19 variant likely to re-infect ‘over and over again,’ experts say

Although COVID-19 cases are declining across the country, chances of getting re-infected with the virus are still possible — especially from the omicron variant — experts say.

“As long as it’s transmitting in the community, there’s always a possibility,” Stephen Hoption Cann, clinical professor at the University of British Columbia’s school of population and public health, told Global News.

Read more: Ontario COVID numbers: 1,116 people in hospital, 160 in intensive care

Getting Omicron more than once also seems more likely than with other variants.

“The Omicron variant, in particular, seems to be one that will re-infect people over and over again,” Kelly McNagny, professor of medical genetics at the University of British Columbia’s school for biomedical engineering, told Global News.

“It’s a little bit more like the common cold virus that tends to infect the upper airways, which is a place where you tend not to develop strong immunity easily.”

Unlike Omicron, other variants of the virus tend to infect someone deeper in the airways, according to McNagny. “I think that gave you a bit more protection,” he said.

Lisa Glover, assistant director of Alberta Health, also says “reinfections have increased since Omicron has become the dominant variant.”

“The risk of reinfection from Omicron is much higher than any other previous variant,” Glover told Global News.

“A major factor that increases the likelihood of reinfection is the waning immunity from a previous infection or not being fully up-to-date with COVID-19 immunization, including additional doses,” she said.

Regardless of the variant, McNagny says being vaccinated will give a higher level of protection against reinfection. Aside from vaccination, bringing back mask

Alberta Health Theresa Tam

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Alberta Health: Main News

Although COVID-19 cases are declining across the country, chances of getting re-infected with the virus are still possible — especially from the omicron variant — experts say.
Deena Hinshaw and Health Minister Jason Copping are expected to provide a COVID-19 update for Alberta on Wednesday afternoon.The chief medical officer of health and minister are scheduled to speak at 3:30 p.m. The update will be streamed live in this story.

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