According to the first significant study on the topic released on Thursday, people who have had COVID-19 more than once are two or three times more likely to experience a variety of serious health issues than those who have only had it once.
As the pandemic spreads and the virus evolves into new strains, the number of infections has increased, but it is unclear what the long-term health repercussions of reinfection will be.
The American researchers said that their new study, which was published in the journal Nature Medicine, was the first to examine how reinfection raises the risk of health issues from both chronic COVID and acute instances.
As per VOA News, The 5.8 million anonymous medical records of patients in the national health database of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs were examined by the researchers.
Between March 1, 2020, and April of this year, more than 443,000 people tested positive at least once for COVID-19. Of that group, about 41,000 had COVID more than once. Over 93% of patients had a total of two infections, 6% had three, and just under 1% had four. The remaining 5.3 million people never acquired COVID-19.
According to Ziyad Al-Aly, an epidemiologist at Washington University in St. Louis and the study’s principal author, “those who got reinfected have an elevated risk of all sorts of adverse health conditions” when the researchers examined the health outcomes of the various groups.
Compared to those who had not been reinfected, people with repeat infections had a double the risk of dying young and a triple the risk of being hospitalized with a disease.
People who had been reinfected had more than three times the prevalence of heart and lung issues. According to the study, reinfection also plays a role in diabetes, kidney illness, and brain disorders.
Additionally, research implied that the likelihood of these issues could rise with each infection. Al-Aly forewarned that this would “certainly exacerbate the burden of disease in the population” if there were constant reinfections.
The epidemiologist advises using masks. He urged people to wear masks to protect themselves in advance of a feared COVID-19 rise during the Christmas season. He also urged the government to take stronger measures to halt the spread of the disease.
The fact that our current vaccination method does not prevent transmission, he claimed, is the cause of reinfection. Until we have vaccines that stop transmission, provide more lasting protection, and are variant-proof, he said, reinfections would continue to occur.