People who become infected with the Omicron variant of Covid-19 and recover still have a two-threefold risk of reinfection compared to other Covid variants.
Speaking at a press briefing on Tuesday, Director General of Laos’ Communicable Disease Control Department, Rattanaxay Phetsouvanh, said that although the number of new Covid cases and deaths worldwide is declining, it is essential that everyone continues to take precautions and protect themselves against the virus.
His advice came after the World Health Organisation confirmed that people who have been infected with Omicron are still at risk of reinfection, especially with the Omicron variant.
“In the first month after recovering from Covid you have a small chance of reinfection. But you are at a higher risk of reinfection if you were infected with the Omicron variant,” said Rattanaxay, who is a member of the National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control.
For example, if a person was infected with Omicron BA.1, there is a risk of further infection with Omicron BA.2.
However, it is likely that people in the same family will be reinfected with the same variant. If a father transmits the Covid virus to other members of his family, when he recovers he will probably not be reinfected if he had an old variant of Covid. This means he can live among his family without wearing a face mask, because he has probably already infected everyone else in the family.
However, if everyone in the family has developed Covid except you, in this case you are advised to stay away from other family members, wear a face mask, maintain a distance of at least two metres from everyone else, and use hand sanitiser on a regular basis.
In addition, household furniture and kitchen utensils must be cleaned regularly.
Most importantly, after you finish self-isolating, you should get vaccinated as advised by the National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, including getting a booster jab.
People who have not yet been immunised should immediately get vaccinated so that the whole population is better protected.
VIENTIANE TIMES/ASIA NEWS NETWORK