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Welcome to the Great Reinfection

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Welcome to the Great Reinfection

If you’re unfortunate enough to have had an intimate encounter with the dreaded Sars-CoV-2 virus, I’m afraid your dalliance with it might not have been your last. Prepare for round two, three, four and possibly more. The Great Reinfection is here.

In the early months of the pandemic, reinfections were a remarkable rarity, even making global news when discovered. “Everyone assumed that once you had it, you would be done,” Juliet Pulliam (Director of the South African DSI/NRF Centre for Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis, Stellenbosch University) says.

After two years, some changes in, this novelty has almost disappeared. Reinfections have become the norm due to a perfect storm of weakening immunity, loosening restrictions and a highly transmissible variant. Even ignoring these factors, it is clear that reinfections are on the rise. At this stage of the pandemic, repeat infections would always have been more common than before, owing to the sheer number of people who’ve had Covid-19. If you have been infected before, you can’t be reinfected again.

With this basic math, it is not surprising that reinfections are occurring, according to Aubree Gordon, an infectious diseases epidemiologist at University of Michigan. She says that the virus has “changed a lot.” Omicron, if you have been infected by an older variant of the virus, is similar to that type wearing makeup and a wig. This makes it difficult to recognize and more difficult to treat.

But, if reinfections will be a part of the future pandemic, how common is it? Due to the difficulty in tracking all types of Sars-CoV-2 infection, it is difficult to determine a precise number. There has been a decline in reporting and testing. Plus, not everyone defines a reinfection the same way; health authorities in the UK, for example, require at least 90 days to elapse between a first and second infection for this to count as a reinfection. Others, like the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, use a shorter 60-day minimum between infections.

In England, close to 900,000 possible reinfections have been identified since the beginning of the pandemic. Of those, over 10,000 were a third infection, and almost 100 were a fourth.

Pulliam’s own work has tried to put a number on how many infections are actually reinfections. She and her team found that as of last week, around 15 percent of current infections in South Africa are reinfections. She warns that this is almost certainly an underestimation, as our surveillance isn’t perfect and we may have missed some people’s first infections.” To sum up how common reinfections in South Africa, Pulliam says two words: “Really rare”.

She has also been investigating the impact Omicron has had on things. They started monitoring reinfections towards the end of the Beta wave in South Africa (which peaked in January 2021), looking at over 100,000 suspected reinfections. They discovered that the protection that an initial infection provided against reinfection remained the same throughout the Beta wave as it did during the Delta wave, which peaked in July. Then Omicron came. The risk of reinfection steadily rose and stabilized at a higher number.

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USB logos finally make sense, thanks to a redesign

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USB logos finally make sense, thanks to a redesign


Author: Mark Hachman
, Senior Editor

As PCWorld’s senior editor, Mark focuses on Microsoft news and chip technology, among other beats. He has formerly written for PCMag, BYTE, Slashdot, eWEEK, and ReadWrite.

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Cheaper OLED monitors might be coming soon

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Cheaper OLED monitors might be coming soon


Author: Michael Crider
, Staff Writer

Michael is a former graphic designer who’s been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

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New Pixel Watch leak reveals watch faces, strap styles and more

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New Pixel Watch leak reveals watch faces, strap styles and more
Google Pixel watch



The Google Pixel Watch is incoming
(Image credit: Google)

We’re expecting the Google Pixel Watch to make its full debut on Thursday, October 6 – alongside the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro – but in the meantime a major leak has revealed much more about the upcoming smartwatch.

Seasoned tipster @OnLeaks (opens in new tab) has posted the haul, which shows off some of the color options and band styles that we can look forward to next week. We also get a few shots of the watch interface and a picture of it being synced with a smartphone.

Watch faces are included in the leak too, covering a variety of different approaches to displaying the time – both in analog and digital formats. Another image shows the watch being used to take an ECG reading to assess heartbeat rate.

Just got my hands on a bunch of #Google #PixelWatch promo material showing all color options and Watch Bands for the first time. Some details revealed as well…@Slashleaks 👉🏻 https://t.co/HzbWeGGSKP pic.twitter.com/N0uiKaKXo0October 1, 2022

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Full colors

If the leak is accurate, then we’ve got four silicone straps on the way: black, gray, white, and what seems to be a very pale green. Leather straps look to cover black, orange, green and white, while there’s also a fabric option in red, black and green.

We already know that the Pixel Watch is going to work in tandem with the Fitbit app for logging all your vital statistics, and included in the leaked pictures is an image of the Pixel Watch alongside the Fitbit app running on an Android phone.

There’s plenty of material to look through here if you can’t wait until the big day – and we will of course be bringing you all the news and announcements as the Google event unfolds. It gets underway at 7am PT / 10am ET / 3pm BST / 12am AEDT (October 7).


Analysis: a big moment for Google

It’s been a fair while since Google launched itself into a new hardware category, and you could argue that there’s more riding on the Pixel Watch than there is on the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro – as Google has been making phones for years at this point.

While Wear OS has been around for a considerable amount of time, Google has been leaving it to third-party manufacturers and partners to make the actual hardware. Samsung recently made the switch back to Wear OS for the Galaxy Watch 5 and the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, for example.

Deciding to go through with its own smartwatch is therefore a big step, and it’s clear that Google is envious of the success of the Apple Watch. It’s the obvious choice for a wearable for anyone who owns an iPhone, and Google will be hoping that Pixel phones and Pixel Watches will have a similar sort of relationship.

What’s intriguing is how Fitbit fits in – the company is now run by Google, but so far we haven’t seen many signs of the Fitbit and the Pixel lines merging, even if the Pixel Watch is going to come with support for the Fitbit app.

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you’ll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.

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