Shortest known gap between COVID-19 infections? 20 days, researchers say

Twenty days is the shortest known gap between COVID-19 infections in a single patient, new research from the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases found.

Researchers are set to present a case report on a 31-year-old fully vaccinated woman in Spain who was infected with COVID-19 twice in less than three weeks. She first tested positive on Dec. 20 after receiving a booster shot 12 days prior. She was asymptomatic and self-isolated for 10 days. On Jan. 12, she tested positive for COVID-19 again.  

Whole genome sequencing showed the patient, a healthcare worker, had been infected by two different strains of COVID-19. The first infection was with the delta variant while the second was with the omicron variant.

"This case highlights the potential of the omicron variant to evade the previous immunity acquired either from a natural infection with other variants or from vaccines," said Gemma Recio, one of the study's authors. "In other words, people who have had COVID-19 cannot assume they are protected against reinfection, even if they have been fully vaccinated."

The researchers' findings will be presented at European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases in Lisbon, Portugal, April 23-26. 


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