Evidence that Covid is becoming a mild disease? Survivors who become reinfected have a lower viral load

Covid survivors who become reinfected have a lower viral load and are less likely to experience symptoms, official data suggests today.

Scientists claim the numbers – drawn from an analysis of nearly 20,000 Britons – are evidence that the disease is getting milder.

Studies show that infected people with a lower viral load are less likely to get sick and spread the virus.

Last April, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) began surveying people affected with Covid to determine their risk of getting it again.

Of the 19,470 people they studied between April 2020 and July 2021, 195 got Covid a second time.

This amounted to only one percent of people who became reinfected.

The Office for National Statistics studied 195 Britons and found that their average Ct value when they first got Covid was 24.9. The Ct value indicates how much of the virus was present in the nose or throat sample, with a lower number equating to a higher amount of the virus. When participants got Covid again, they had an average Ct value of 32.4, meaning less virus was present in their sample

Indian variant has 46% more chance of reinfection than Kent strain, PHE warns – but only 1.2% of 80,000 cases studied were caused by reinfection

People who have previously defeated Covid are now more likely to be reinfected by the Indian variant, an official report shows.

Public Health England said the risk was 46 percent higher with the Delta variant compared to the previously dominant Kent ‘Alpha’ variant.

The finding was based on real-world analysis of the third wave in England and looked at about 80,000 Delta cases.

But even with the increased risk of the mutant strain, the number of Britons reinfected still remains low.

Of the Delta cases of PHE analyzed in the past three months, only 1.2 percent were identified as possible reinfection.

The results follow a lab study earlier this month that showed the variant was better at evading antibodies from previous infections than previous strains.

PHE said the reinfection risk was incredibly low in people who had recovered from Covid in the past six months.

The agency looked at the PCR test results of a group of people, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, who had tested positive for Covid at least 90 days earlier.

There were 83,197 people who tested positive in the 11-week period of the analysis, 980 of whom were possible reinfections.

When comparing the results with the second wave, it said the risk of being reinfected with Delta was 46 percent higher than with Alpha. The analysis adjusted for several variables, including age and vaccination.

Experts aren’t sure how long immunity from previous infection by Covid lasts because the virus is so new.

Immunity is believed to last for at least six months for the vast majority of people.

Today’s report only looked at people who tested positive at least 90 days after their first positive Pap and had negative tests between the first and second infection.

Government statisticians looked at the cycle thresholds (Ct) of volunteers and compared the mean scores between the first and second infection.

Ct values ​​represent the amount of SARS-CoV-2 virus presented in a swab sample, with a lower value equating to a higher viral load.

Only a quarter of the participants who were reinfected had a high viral load – considered a score of less than 30.

In comparison, two-thirds had high viral loads from their first test.

Overall, the volunteers’ mean Ct value at their first positive test was 24.9, while it was 32.4 before their reinfection.

Of the group, 93 of them had symptoms the first time they were infected, while only 38 had symptoms the second time they caught the virus.

Scientists say the findings are proof that immunity — from both jabs and natural infections — is starting to work.

Nearly 37.5 million adults have received either doses of Pfizer or AstraZeneca.

No vaccine is perfect and many people who have been fully vaccinated are still at risk of being infected.

But the current crop of lampreys used in Britain has drastically reduced the risk of infected people getting sick.

Meanwhile, the spread of the virus through the population has made it possible to build a natural immunity over time as well.

Nearly 6 million people have tested positive for the virus over the course of Britain’s three waves – but millions more will have been infected.

Professor Jonathan Ball, a virologist at the University of Nottingham, told MailOnline we “shouldn’t be too surprised” by the ONS findings.

He said: ‘These findings show that previous infections result in immunity that provides good, but not absolute, protection against reinfection, at least over a relatively short period of time.

Even in those people who were re-infected, virus levels in the nose and throat were lower compared to the viral load seen during a first infection.

‘This suggests that their pre-existing immunity, while not preventing infection, effectively dampens virus replication the second time around.

“This is important because it means that people who are re-infected are less likely to develop a serious illness, and also reduce their chances of passing the virus on to others.”

He added: ‘We think vaccines will provide even higher levels of protection, even in those who have been previously infected, so I would still urge anyone invited to get both doses of vaccine.

“I don’t think this is because the virus has become less virulent, it has more to do with the host’s immunity that develops after infection.”

While high Ct values ​​represent a low viral load, scores can vary over the course of infection and a single number may not provide the most accurate picture.

And not every score can be accurately compared because different labs may not use the same test.

It comes after a separate report last week claimed that people who have beaten Covid are now more likely to be re-infected due to the Indian variant.

Public Health England said the risk of reinfection was 46 per cent higher with Delta compared to the previously dominant Kent ‘Alpha’ variant.

The finding was based on real-world analysis of the third wave in England and looked at about 80,000 Delta cases.