New corona study: Reinfections increase the risk of death

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Corona virus reinfections increase the risk of health damage and the risk of death. This is shown by a new study from the USA.

St. LOUIS – The long duration of the coronavirus pandemic, along with seemingly mild infections, means many people are no longer taking the virus seriously. A certain ease in dealing with the corona is spreading – but a new study now shows that Sars-CoV-2 should still be taken seriously – even if you are vaccinated and already infected.

Scientists from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that repeated coronavirus reinfections carry a significant additional risk of health problems. According to the research team, these include problems with the lungs, heart, brain and blood, but also with the musculoskeletal system or the gastrointestinal system – up to hospitalization and death. Another coronavirus infection can also contribute to diabetes, kidney disease and mental problems.

A new corona study shows: Reinfections pose a significant health risk

“Our research clearly showed that a second, third or fourth infection leads to additional health risks in the acute phase, i.e. in the first 30 days after infection and in the following months,” emphasizes clinical epidemiologist Ziyad Al-Aly, co-author of the study. In their study, the researchers also found that the health risk increases with each coronavirus infection. “This means that if you’ve had two Covid-19 infections, it’s better to avoid the third one,” explains Al-Aly in a statement from his university, continuing: “If you’ve already been infected three times, it’s best to avoid the fourth one to prevent infection .”

Corona virus reinfection doubles the risk of death

For this study, Al-Aly-led researchers analyzed the United States Department of Veterans Affairs’ health database. The research team worked with 5.8 million medical records representing patients of various ages, genders and origins. 5.3 million patients did not test positive for the coronavirus between March 1, 2020 and April 16, 2022 – they formed the study’s control group. The group actually covered by the study included more than 443,000 people who had a coronavirus infection during that period, and nearly 41,000 people with two to four documented infections. Journal study Natural medicine the cover of Delta, Omikron and BA.5 variants was released.

Using statistical models, the research team determined how the general health risk of those infected changed during the first 30 days after infection, and the researchers also looked at the first six months after infection. The results of the study are frightening to read: Overall, people with re-infection with the coronavirus have twice the risk of death and three times the likelihood of hospitalization than people without re-infection. In addition, people with repeated infections are three and a half times more likely to develop lung problems, according to the researchers. Heart problems are three times more likely in multiple coronavirus reinfections than in people without a coronary infection. With a second coronavirus infection, they are 1.6 times higher than in patients who were infected only once.

Corona study: Expert recommends masks and vaccination against reinfection

“Our findings have far-reaching implications for public health because they tell us that strategies should be implemented to prevent or reduce the risk of reinfection,” said study author Al-Aly. “As the winter season approaches, people should be aware of the risks and take precautions to reduce the risk of infection or re-infection with Sars-CoV-2.”

Among people who have been infected and vaccinated, there has been a “sense of invincibility” in recent months, Al-Aly recalls. “Some people have started to talk about super-immunity in relation to these people.” However, the research team recommends not to rely on the supposed super-immunity, but rather to avoid reinfection where possible – for example by wearing masks, but also by Corona-Booster vaccination. . Al-Aly also recommends flu vaccination: “We really need to do everything we can to avoid the chance of getting a double epidemic of corona and flu this winter,” says the researcher. (bookmark)

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