S'pore PR gets infected with Omicron in December after Delta plus infection last May

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S’pore PR gets infected with Omicron in December after Delta plus infection last May
© The Independent Singapore

Singapore — People in different parts of the world, including Singapore, are finding themselves getting re-infected with the coronavirus responsible for the current pandemic. 

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There have been reports of individuals previously infected with the Delta variant coming down with Covid-19 again—but this time with an Omicron infection.

The experience of one Singapore Permanent Resident was reported in The Straits Times on Sunday (Jan 16).

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The PR, only identified as “John” in the report, first caught Covid in May 2020 when he was abroad. He and his wife were not vaccinated at that time and were infected with the Delta plus variant.

He told ST it had taken him “a while” to recover from that first infection, and that he had a fever for three days as well as body aches.

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And last month, while traveling under the Vaccinated Travel Lane scheme, he was infected with the Omicron variant after someone else on his flight also had Covid.

Fortunately, his second Covid bout was significantly milder than the first.

“With the Omicron variant, I had only a scratchy throat, but I was thankful my wife and child were still overseas as they too might have been infected again if they were with me,” ST quotes John as saying, with his symptoms ceasing after only four days.

By the time he was infected with Omicron, he was already fully vaccinated as well.

But John’s experience is by no means an unusual one, as more and more individuals have reported an Omicron infection after having had a Delta infection.

The Omicron variant, first discovered in South Africa in November of last year, caused concern among health experts as it was able to evade prior vaccinations and infections.

Professor Catherine Bennett, Chair in Epidemiology at Deakin University in Australia, told ABC TV, “We know Omicron has higher rates of reinfection, and that was in people who have had Delta.”

“Even if Omicron doesn’t reinfect after an infection has cleared, you can still have a Delta infection at a party and still be vulnerable to Omicron, so it is still possible to have a reinfection.”

Omicron after Delta is not ‘Deltacron’

Getting an Omicron infection after having previously recovered from Delta is not the same as a ‘Deltacron’ infection, a strain that reportedly combines both variants.

The ‘Deltacron’ was discovered in Cyprus last week.

“There are currently omicron and delta coinfections, and we found this strain that is a combination of these two,” said Leondios Kostrikis, professor of biological sciences at the University of Cyprus and head of the Laboratory of Biotechnology and Molecular Virology.

However, the World Health Organisation later debunked this.

“In fact, what we think that is, is that it’s a result of contamination that has happened during the sequencing process,” said Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO technical lead for Covid-19.

She explained that it is possible for a person to be infected with different variants of the coronavirus behind Covid-19, SARS-CoV-2.

“Let’s not use words like Deltacron, flurona or flurone. Please. These words imply combination of viruses/variants and this is not happening,” Dr Kerkhove said.

/TISG

Read also:Study shows Covid loses 90% infectivity within minutes of being airborne

Study shows Covid loses 90% infectivity within minutes of being airborne

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