Updated 11/21/2022 at 9:55 am
- The probability of becoming seriously ill is higher with the second corona infection than with the first.
- This is the result of a new study from the United States.
- According to this, the risk of hospitalization in case of reinfection is three times higher than with the first illness of COVID-19.
Anyone who has already contracted COVID-19 and survived the coronavirus without long-term consequences might assume that further infections would be harmless. The researchers now warn: because anyone who has saved Corona well is not automatically immune from a severe course in the event of reinfection.
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the St. Louis Veterans Affairs Health Care System have examined the health consequences of reinfection in a new study. It was shown that other corona disease “may carry a significant additional risk of declining health in various organ systems,” according to a report from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louise. The results of the study were published in the journal “Nature Medicine.”
Renewed corona infection brings additional health risks
According to the study, the health problems that occur during the resumption of the disease of COVID-19 can be so severe that those affected must be treated in hospital. The risk of hospitalization is three times higher for reinfection than for the first infection, and the risk of death is double.
Patients who were reinfected suffered from lung and heart disease, for example. According to the study, reinfection is three times more likely to cause lung problems than the initial infection.
There were also effects on the brain, blood, musculoskeletal system, and gastrointestinal tract. The statement goes on to say: “Reinfection also contributes to diabetes, kidney disease, and mental health problems.”
The risk probably increases with the number of corona infections
One of the study authors, clinical epidemiologist Ziyad Al-Aly, explains: “Our research has clearly shown that a second, third or fourth infection carries additional health risks in the acute phase, that is, in the first 30 days after infection, and in the months after, that is, in the long phase of COVID”.
The scientific team also concludes from their results that the health risk increases with each new corona infection. According to the co-author, even after two COVID-19 infections, it’s better to avoid a third. “And if you’ve had three infections, you need to avoid the fourth.”
Also read: British coronavirus patient cured after 411 days of infection
Study authors recommend caution, especially in winter
Al-Aly said: “In recent months, there has been an air of invincibility among people who have contracted COVID-19 or who have been vaccinated and boosted, particularly among people who have been infected and are vaccinated.” The researchers advise against this in their study. Strategies to prevent reinfection are necessary, they appeal.
Al-Aly warns of the so-called “twin pandemic of COVID-19 and flu” and advises: “Before the winter season, people should be aware of the risks and be vigilant to reduce their risk of infection or reinfection with SARS- CoV-2”.
For the study, the scientific team used data from the US Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Health Database. They compared a data set of 5.3 million people who had not tested positive for COVID-19 since early from March 2020 to April 6, 2022 with data on 443,000 people who tested positive for coronavirus once in the same period. They then included a third group in their research: almost 41,000 people who had two or more documented corona infections.
- Mitteilung der Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis: “Repeated COVID-19 infections increase risk of organ failure, death” (November 10, 2022)
- Study in “Nature Medicine”: “Acute and post-acute sequelae associated with SARS-CoV-2 reinfection” (Veröffentlicht am November 10, 2022)
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