‘Repeat’ Covid infections could increase the risk of multi-organ failure, warns new study

The coronavirus is still running rampant due to evolutionary traits that give each new variant advantages over its predecessors. Once contracted, the virus induces inflammation and problems with the immune system. It has remained unclear, however, how long these effects last. New research now shows that each reinfection from the virus hikes the health risks for nearly every organ in the body.

New research suggests that coronavirus infections could spur a host of short and long-term health risks for every organ in the body.

The new findings also suggest reinfection from the virus is still possible even if an individual has acquired natural immunity from a first infection, vaccine, or booster shot.

The study, led by the Washing University School of Medicine, highlighted the cumulative damage that may occur with each infection from the virus too.

Repeat infections of COVID-19 could contribute to adverse health conditions in multiple organ systems including the lungs, heart brain, and the body’s blood, musculoskeletal and gastrointestinal systems, and even death.

READ MORE: Risk of death from Covid increases with each re-infection, study warns

The senior author of the study, Zyad Al-Aly, MD, a clinical epidemiologist at the School of Medicine, said the findings show that the health risks seem to increase with each infection.
The results, published in the journal Nature Medicine, also raise questions about prevalent attitudes towards the virus after primary infection or immunisation from the vaccine.
It’s been widely believed that past infections from COVID-19 confer protection against future infections, but the evolution of the virus is slowly discrediting this theory.
Research published by the British Medical Journal earlier this year suggested a past infection may not offer protection from reinfection from the Omicron variant, which is accountable for the vast majority of new cases.

Researchers believe these risks can be countered by getting a vaccine, even if a person gets infected on top of a jab.

This is based on the understanding that the vaccine broadens the immune response and gives a person potentially stronger protection against a wider range of variants.

Mr Al-Aly added: “During the past few months, there has been an air of invincibility among people who had had COVID-19 or their vaccinations and boosters, and especially among people who have had an infection and also received vaccines.

“Some people started to refer to these individuals as having a sort of super-immunity to the virus.

READ MORE: Sternutation is more likely to target vaccinated Covid patients

“Without ambiguity, our research showed that getting an infection a second, third or fourth time contributes to additional health risks in the acute phase, meaning the first 30 days after infection, and in the months beyond, meaning the long COVID phase.

“Because the health risks become increasingly grave with each infection, the team advise taking extra precautions to avoid Covid.

“This means that even if you’ve had two COVID-19 infections, it’s better to avoid a third.”And if you’ve had three infections, it’s best to avoid the fourth,” noted Mr Al-Aly.

The expert recommends people do their best to avoid reinfection as the winter months roll in and immune defences weaken.

“People should do their best to prevent repeat infections by, for example, getting all of their eligible boosters, and staying home when sick,” he advised.

“Also, get a flu shot to prevent illness. We really need to do our best to reduce the chance [as] we will have a twin-demic of both COVID-19 and the flu this winter.”

As well as taking up the vaccine against coronavirus and influenza, people are being encouraged to practice good hand hygiene to stop the spread of respiratory viruses during the colder months.

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