Symptoms of the Omicron variant: what happens after reinfection, vaccination

The omicron variant may create mild symptoms of COVID-19 and re-infect previously infected COVID-19 patients, but it could have a shorter incubation time than previous COVID-19 strains, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CDC investigates spread of omicron variant

the CDC recently looked at what happened to a patient in Nebraska – who was allegedly infected with the omicron variant – and at the patient’s home.

  • The patient, who was not vaccinated, had previously acquired symptomatic COVID-19 in November 2020.

According to CDC, the patient had unmasked close contact with a masked, coughing person on November 20 at an international conference in Nigeria, which included people from several African countries.

  • Patient tested negative for COVID-19 before returning to the United States

The patient – who was asymptomatic on his return to the United States – had unmasked close contact with five family contacts, according to the CDC.

  • A family contact has been fully vaccinated (the person’s second dose of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was received in August 2021). This patient also had COVID-19 in November 2020.
  • Three of the contacts were not vaccinated and were showing symptoms of COVID-19 as of November 2020.
  • One contact was not vaccinated and had “mild upper respiratory symptoms in November 2020, just before the onset of illness in other household members,” according to the CDC. But the patient received a negative COVID-19 test.
  • None of the household members reported having any underlying medical problems or immunocompromised disorders.
  • This therefore means that one of the patients underwent reinfection after being fully vaccinated. Four patients underwent reinfection. One suffered his first infection.

What this means for the symptoms of the omicron variant, reinfection

According to CDC, this may suggest that the omicron variant has an “incubation period and clinical syndrome similar or milder than that associated with the variants described above in people who have been vaccinated or infected previously”.

  • This case suggests that there is also “an increased potential for reinfection”, according to the CDC.

This CDC investigation may also show that the spread of omicron may only take three days after incubation, compared to around five days with other strains of COVID-19.

It also confirms some early research into mild COVID-19 symptoms of the omicron variant, as I wrote for the Deseret News.

  • “It is not known whether the mild clinical syndromes or the different descriptions of symptoms are the result of existing immunity or altered clinical features associated with Omicron infection,” the researcher said. CDC noted. “The five re-infections, including one after a full vaccination, could be explained by waning immunity, Omicron’s potential for partial immune evasion, or both.”

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