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Covid – why are so many people catching it again?

Lung expert from the Institute for Respiratory Health says many people are catching Covid again partly because the new variants are better at sneaking past defences built on exposure to older and different variants.

“We’re also mid-winter, restrictions have been lifted and immunity does fade over time. BA.4 and BA.5 are more contagious. And just like the common cold coronaviruses – you can expect to catch these many times,” Associate Professor Yuben Moodley said.  

Associate Professor Moodley’s statement comes as the Western Australian Government has cut the time a person can be reinfected with Covid from three months to just four weeks. But some people have been reported to have caught the virus twice in just three weeks.  

The new advice comes from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee and follows the detection of an increasing number of the BA.4 and BA.5 variants in the WA community. 

“The vaccines have done a great job at protecting lives. Vaccination remains the best way to protect yourself from severe disease and hospitalisation from Omicron,” Associate Professor Moodley said.

“Although there is Covid fatigue, we still need to be vigilant as we learn to live with the virus. If unwell, get tested and if you haven’t already, get your winter booster – especially if you are elderly or have an underlying health issue like a lung condition.”

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