A 31-year-old woman in Spain set a record with the shortest known gap between infections when she caught Covid twice 20 days apart.

Although it is a record no one wants to set, the healthcare worker has made headlines after researchers in Spain published details of the case.

The woman from Tarragona, who was fully vaccinated with Pfizer vaccine, tested positive in a PCR staff screening test just 12 days after she had received a booster jab with a dose of Moderna.

The result came up in a routine staff screening test on December 20 just when Spain was in the grip of a wave of new infections in the run up to Christmas.

Although the woman had no symptoms and did not develop any, she self-isolated for ten days before returning to work, according to the rules in place at the time.

Then on January 10, just ten days after coming out of quarantine and just a day shy of three weeks since she first tested positive, the woman developed typical Covid symptoms including a cough, fever and general fatigue.

A PCR test showed her to be positive once again.

Genome sequencing  revealed that the patient had been infected by two different Covid variants, the first with the Delta variant and the second with Omicron.

Her case is being presented as further evidence that the Omicron variant can evade immunity from even recent previous infections.

Dr Gemma Recio, of the Institut Català de la Salut in Tarragona and one of the study’s authors, said: “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.”

The scientist said the case served to highlight the need for genome sequencing in studying coronavirus.

“Such monitoring will help detect variants with the ability to partially evade the immune response,” she said.

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