Time between COVID-19 infections is growing, not shrinking, data suggests

COVID-19 reinfections are becoming more common in the U.S., but they are not happening more quickly, according to data from Helix, a lab that works with the CDC on viral surveillance. 

The nation's dominant variant, BA.5, is highly adept at evading immunity from vaccination and past infection, which has reignited public concern that the average time between infections has decreased, according to Helix.

However, lab data shows the average time between infections has actually increased from 230 days in April to 270 days in July. 

"This indicates that the vast majority of reinfections are still occurring in people that were originally infected before the omicron wave," Helix said in a statement emailed to Becker's. "However, the rate of reinfection (or how often people are getting reinfected) is rising faster than before, likely because of waning protection from vaccines and previous infections."

 

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