65% of volunteers had previously been infected by Covid-19: REACT

In an ongoing study concerning Real-Time Assessment of Community Transmission (REACT) in the United Kingdom (UK), nearly two-thirds of those infected with the Omicron variant of Covid-19, say they had previous experience of testing positive for the Coronavirus.  

According to a BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) report, the study has found that two-thirds of the recent cases have claimed they had previously tested positive for the Coronavirus. However, much work is needed to determine an exact estimate of the “true reinfections”. So far, the reinfections include healthcare workers with families living together, according to the BBC. 

According to the Imperial College of London’s website, REACT is one of the largest and most significant research programs pertaining to the Covid-19 pandemic and its progress across the UK. The study is being conducted by some of the UK’s leading team of scientists, clinicians, and researchers at Imperial College in London, and is reportedly commissioned by the Health and Social Care department.

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The study has actively engaged over 2 million people. According to the REACT team’s latest findings, in the first two weeks of January 2022, from about 10,000 PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests done, almost 4,000 were positive which is the highest percentage since the start of the pandemic. Upon further investigation as to which variant they caught, it was found that almost all had Omicron which is a highly contagious variant initially identified in South Africa. 

So far, there is no concrete evidence whether the study participants who tested positive have been completely vaccinated or not. However, according to the official statistics, approximately 65% of the infected volunteers had previously been infected by the Coronavirus. Based on the study, there is a possibility that the PCR tests might “be picking up old traces” of the virus, according to the BBC, meanwhile, the current statistics of Covid-19 infections released by the UK Government do not include reinfections.

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In addition, according to the REACT team, the number of infections remains high in children and teenagers. According to Professor Paul Elliott who is the Director for REACT, there is a “rapidly increasing prevalence” in children since the school year started compared to December when a spike was noticed in people aged 65 or above. 

Dr. Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of the UK Health Security Agency has said that while vaccines may not be stopping every infection, they are playing a part in saving lives against the Coronavirus. “Vaccination remains the best way to protect yourself from severe disease and hospitalisation from Omicron”, Harries said.  

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In addition, Sajid Javid has said, “Rates are still high”. The Health and Social Care Secretary added that as we learn to “with the virus” we must continue to practice vigilance against it by ensuring that we wash our hands, get tested as needed, and get the booster shot. 

To view REACT’s complete report to date, click here!

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