Reinfection with COVID-19 increases your health risk
Ziyad Al-Aly, MD, a clinical epidemiologist at the University of Washington and research and development team leader at the Virginia St. Louis, USA, said, “It is also possible that the first infection may have weakened certain organ systems and made people more vulnerable to health risks when they had a second infection or third.” He also added, “There are a lot of variables at play, but it’s clear that reassessments contribute additional risks and they should be avoided.”
Al-Aly and his colleagues compared 257,427 people who were first infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 with a group of 38,926 who had a second or subsequent infection and 5.4 million who had never been infected. infected. Data for the study were obtained from veterans in the Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare database.
The results are published online in the journal Nature Investment Portfolio as an important step in the evaluation and validation of clinical studies.
The results of the research done
Three COVID-19 experts who were not involved in the study raised two caveats, including how research on veterans may or may not be applicable to the general population.
Eric Topol, MD, executive vice president of Scripps Research and editor-in-chief of Medscape. He points out that compared with the first infection, the second infection has twice the risk of death from any cause, twice the risk of heart or lung problems, and other risks. increased with each infection.
“Clearly these findings are worrisome because reinfection was quite rare before the Omicron wave hit, at 1% or less via Delta variant waves. But now reinfection has become common. much more,” he said.
Deposit can be higher
Dr Ali Mokdad says there may be additional risks for the elderly, immunocompromised people and people with other medical complications. He also said that the research was well done. Al-Aly and colleagues “had access to a good amount of data and they did some research.”
“It makes sense, and let me explain why,” Mokdad said. “When you have someone with COVID-19 for the first time and affected by it, be it elderly or chronically ill, the next hit will also do more damage.”
“That’s why you’d expect some people to be more likely to get an infection,” said Mokdad, an assistant professor of epidemiology and a professor of health measurement science at the University of Washington in Seattle, US. second time over.
“The best thing for you and for the public – healthy or not, chronic condition or not – is not to get infected,” he said. “Let’s go get vaccines and boosters, and wear a mask when in a crowded place and can’t keep a safe distance.”
A recent study found that BA.4 and BA.5 are four times more resistant to vaccine antibodies than BA.2, a sub-variant that has become the dominant strain in the United States in April, replacing the original strain spurred a nationwide winter wave.
How to distinguish the patient’s risk factors?
The ability of BA.4 and BA.5 strains to re-infect people with strong immune systems during previous episodes of COVID-19 has led some experts to call the latest strain of the virus even more contagious. than.
“When you look at that study, one big caveat is veterans,” said Amesh Adalja, MD, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security at the Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. soldiers are not the same as the general population.
“I don’t think you can generalize (the study) to everyone, but really to people with risk factors for severe disease,” he said, because veterans tend to older and have more health conditions.
He said a lot of people who have been reinfected are testing positive at home. As a result, their cases were not included in the study. In contrast, the veterans in the study were “those who for whatever reason wanted to be formally tested.”
Because the virus has mutated from the vaccine, the shots can still protect against severe illness, hospitalization and death, but they are less likely to protect against infection, Adalja said. “That’s also the case with pre-existing immunity. For example, if you’re someone infected with BA.1 or Delta, your resistance to the new variants, BA.4 and BA.5, may not be very high.”
The study shows why “it’s important to keep your vaccines up-to-date,” he said, “and why we need better vaccines that are targeted to the currently saved variants. onion.”
Adalja says that despite these warnings, the researchers used “robust databases” and a large amount of research, which “gives all of us confidence in the power of development.” presently.”
Long-term COVID-19 to COVID: Impact
But here, the question is whether reinfection with COVID-19 paves the way for an increased risk of long-term COVID disease. So, Ziyad Al-Aly and his colleagues followed the patients for more than 6 months and compared those infected with one, two, three or more with the uninfected group. Among the patients with infections, about 13% had two infections, 0.76% had three infections, and 0.08%, or 246 people, had four or more infections.
Compared with patients who were first infected with COVID-19, those who were reinfected were more than twice as likely to die from any cause. Although “the mechanisms underlying the increased risk of death and adverse health outcomes with reinfection are not entirely clear,” the authors said, “the findings highlight the consequences of reinfection and emphasizes the importance of preventing reinfection with SARS-CoV-2,” the COVID-19 virus that causes infection.
When asked about the next step in their research, Al-Aly said, “BA.5 seems to be the main challenge that lies ahead and we are focused on trying to understand it better.” The Federal Drug Administration recommends that COVID-19 vaccine makers Pfizer and Moderna begin modifying what they currently offer so that their booster shots target the BA variants. .4 and BA.5 are more accurate and evaluate these shots as early as mid-fall.