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A British study showed that two thirds of people with Omicron had previously contracted the virus

The Imperial College London Reaction Study, which has been updated monthly since May 2020 and is funded by the UK Government, analyzed the results of 100,607 PCR tests across England between 5 January and 20 January.

The study found that 99 percent of positive tests were caused by the omicron variant and only 1 percent by the delta variant.

“Unprecedented levels of SARS-CoV-2 infection were observed in England in January 2022, and the delta was almost completely replaced by the omicron,” the study authors wrote.

Two-thirds of the 3,582 participants who tested positive in January reported having tested positive for Codra before. An additional 7.5 percent of infected participants said they had previously suspected they had the virus, but had not confirmed it with a test.

When previous versions of Covid prevailed, it was believed that previous Covid infections could provide some protection against re-infection. It is worrying, however, that this is not the case for Omicron, with UK health officials estimating in December that the risk of re-infection was 5.4 times higher for the delta variant compared to the previously prevalent delta variant.

“Vaccination (including booster vaccination) remains the mainstay of protection against Covid-19, given the high level of protection against hospitalization,” the research team said.

“However, additional measures other than vaccination may be required if a very high rate of omicron infection persists, although omicron alone appears to be less likely to cause serious illness,” they wrote.

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