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What Are The Health Risks Of Getting COVID The Second Or Third Time? 7 Important Points

In India, 13,615 new Coronavirus infections were reported on Tuesday morning, while 1,31,043 active Coronavirus cases were recorded. Approximately 4,29,96,427 people have recovered from the disease, while 1.20 per cent of cases have died.

How Does The Health Risks Increase With Reinfection Of COVID?

A first study on the health risks of reinfection found that catching COVID-19 repeatedly seems to increase the risk of developing new and sometimes lasting health problems after the initial infection [1].

The researchers compared the electronic health records of 257,000 people with one confirmed COVID-19 infection, 38,900 people with two or more infections, and 5.3 million people without covid infection. Ninety-two per cent of those with reinfections had two infections. As of now, the study has not been peer-reviewed and is being reviewed for publication.

Vaccines and prior infection have greatly improved Covid outcomes since the pandemic's inception, and reinfections are generally less severe than initial infections. In spite of this, each new infection carries a risk of medical complications, such as hospitalization, death, and a long period of recovery [2].

Here are the important points from the study:

Point 1: There is an increase in the number of infectious Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, which is expected to increase reinfection rates.

Point 2: Reinfections with COVID may have a less severe effect than initial infections, but each infection presents a new opportunity for the virus to damage the body. With each infection, your risk of developing health problems increases.

Point 3: In the first 30 days following infection, the risk of developing medical issues such as lung and heart disease is high. In most cases, these risks persist for up to six months and increase with each subsequent infection. Even though reinfection may be milder, it still poses a risk.

Point 4: As of yet, doctors are unsure of how reinfections affect the body. The immune system is familiar with the virus and can handle it better the second or third time after a prior infection or vaccination can reduce the severity of Covid.

Point 5: Nevertheless, if the first infection of COVID-19 weakens the immune system and one or more organs - causing problems that are not noticeable at first - subsequent infections may further damage those organs, causing symptoms [3].

Point 6: According to new data from the Office for National Statistics in the United Kingdom, the risk of reinfection with COVID-19 is seven times greater when Omicron variants circulate than when Delta is the predominant strain. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention do not track reinfections [4].

Point 7: The study has certain limitations, including that older patients tend to have multiple comorbid conditions. It is unlikely that an otherwise healthy 18-year-old will significantly increase his/her risk, unlike an older individual with underlying health issues [5]. In addition, patients who seek medical attention for reinfection are more likely to have more symptoms than those who do not seek medical care and are not included in the study.

On A Final Note...

This study provides insight into how repeated cases of Covid may pose a health risk. There is a direct correlation between the number of infections and the amount of damage to the body. Al-Aly, the principal researcher, replied when asked about the next step in the study, "BA.5 seems to be the most challenging aspect, and we are working to understand it better".

It is the first study to examine reinfection significantly, the sample sizes are large, and the data was gathered by competent statisticians - hinting that the study findings are not untenable and rooted in practical observations.

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