Resurgent coronaviruses are more dangerous than expected

Updated 11/23/2022 at 1:58 p.m

  • The probability of a serious illness is still high even with a second coronavirus infection.
  • This follows from a new study from the US.
  • Accordingly, the risk of hospitalization for reinfection is three times higher than for people who do not become reinfected.

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Correction: We regret that we made an error in an earlier version of the article. We wrote that the risk of death from a renewed corona infection is higher than from the first infection. However, this is not the conclusion of the study. We have therefore edited the article and apologize for the error.

Anyone who has already contracted Covid-19 and survived the coronavirus without long-term consequences could have assumed that in the event of further infections there would also be a risk of a harmless course. Scientists are now warning: Because anyone who has put off Corona well is not automatically immune to a severe course in case of reinfection.

Researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care System examined the health consequences of reinfection in a new study. It has been shown that additional coronary disease “may pose a significant additional risk of health impairment in multiple 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”.

The renewed corona infection brings with it health risks

According to the study, the disabilities that occur during the renewed disease of Covid 19 can be so severe that the disabilities must be treated in hospital. The risk of hospitalization is three times higher in people who reinfect than in people who do not; double the risk of death.

Patients who were reinfected suffered from lung and heart diseases, for example. According to the study, the likelihood of developing lung problems with reinfection is three times higher than without reinfection.

Effects on the brain, blood, musculoskeletal system and gastrointestinal tract have also been shown. The statement goes on to say, “Reinfection also contributes to diabetes, kidney disease and mental health problems.”

The risk is likely to increase with the number of coronaviruses

One of the authors of the study, clinical epidemiologist Ziyad Al-Aly, explains: “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 months later, i.e. in long phase of Covid.”

The scientific team also concludes from their results that the health risk increases with each additional coronavirus infection. According to the co-author, it is therefore better to avoid a third after two Covid 19 infections. “And if you’ve had three infections, you should avoid a fourth.

Also read: British corona patient recovered after 411 days of infection

The authors of the study 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 have been vaccinated and strengthened, especially among people who have been infected and are being vaccinated.” The researchers do not recommend this in their study. Strategies to prevent reinfection are necessary, they appeal.

Al-Aly warns of the so-called “Covid-19 and flu twindemic” and advises: “Ahead of the winter season, people should be aware of the risks and be vigilant to reduce the risk of infection or re-infection with SARS-CoV. -2.”

For the study, the scientific team used data from the National Health Database of the US Department of Veterans Affairs. It compared a dataset of 5.3 million people who did not test positive for Covid-19 from early March 2020 to April 6, 2022, with data from 443,000 people who tested positive for the virus once during the same period. They then included a third group in their investigation: nearly 41,000 people who had two or more documented cases of the coronavirus.

The risk of re-infection depends on many factors

It is not possible to generalize how high the probability of re-infection with the virus is after a coronavirus infection. One factor that plays an important role is the number of antibodies produced after the first infection. However, the variants that circulate or the current occurrence also affect the risk.

“Because of the decreasing protection against vaccination and infection with one or the other variant, many people have partial immunity, but it does not help against each variant equally well,” said Gérard Krause, an epidemiologist at the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research in Braunschweig. “Berliner Morgenpost”. “We don’t know what variants will come out that can bypass immunity and also lead to severe courses.”

Used sources:

  • Mitteilung der Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis: “Repeated Covid-19 infections raise risk of organ failure, death” (Nov 10, 2022)
  • Study in the field of “Natural Medicine”: “Acute and post-acute consequences associated with SARS-CoV-2 reinfection” (Veröffentlicht am 10 November 2022)
  • Berliner Morgenpost: “Corona: So high is the risk of reinfection at Omicron” (12 April 2022)

A study from Dresden confirms that Post COVID can affect people of all ages. About a quarter of the participants were still suffering from long-term effects six to twelve months after being infected with the coronavirus.

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