Repeat COVID Is Riskier Than First An infection, Research Finds

The danger of demise, hospitalization and critical well being points from COVID-19 jumps considerably with reinfection in contrast with a primary bout with the virus, no matter vaccination standing, in response to a examine revealed on Thursday.

“Reinfection with COVID-19 will increase the chance of each acute outcomes and lengthy COVID,” stated Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly of Washington College College of Medication in St. Louis. “This was evident in unvaccinated, vaccinated and boosted individuals.”

The findings had been drawn from U.S. Division of Veterans Affairs knowledge collected from March 1, 2020 by April 6, 2022 on 443,588 sufferers with one SARS-CoV-2 an infection, 40,947 with two or extra infections, and 5.3 million noninfected people. Many of the examine topics had been male.

Reinfected sufferers had a greater than doubled threat of demise and a greater than tripled threat of hospitalization in contrast with those that had been contaminated with COVID simply as soon as. In addition they had elevated dangers for issues with lungs, coronary heart, blood, kidneys, diabetes, psychological well being, bones and muscular tissues, and neurological issues, in response to a report revealed in Nature Medication.

“Even when one had prior an infection and was vaccinated – which means they’d double immunity from prior an infection plus vaccines – they’re nonetheless vulnerable to hostile outcomes upon reinfection,” Al-Aly, the examine chief, stated.

Individuals with repeat infections had been greater than 3 times extra more likely to develop lung issues, 3 times extra more likely to endure coronary heart circumstances and 60% extra more likely to expertise neurological issues than sufferers who had been contaminated solely as soon as, the examine discovered. The upper dangers had been most pronounced within the first month after reinfection however had been nonetheless evident six months later.

The cumulative dangers and burdens of repeat an infection elevated with the variety of infections, even after accounting for variations in COVID-19 variants corresponding to Delta, Omicron and BA.5, the researchers stated.

“We had began seeing a number of sufferers coming to the clinic with an air of invincibility,” Al-Aly informed Reuters. “They puzzled, ‘Does getting a reinfection actually matter?’ The reply is sure, it completely does.”

Forward of the quick approaching vacation season with journey and indoor gatherings, “individuals must be conscious that reinfection is consequential and will take precautions,” he added.

“We’re not advising draconian measures, however possibly if you happen to’re happening a aircraft, put on a masks,” Al-Aly stated. “Should you’re in a grocery store, think about that the individual close to you will have a weak immune system, and if you happen to put on a masks you would possibly assist to guard them.”