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COVID-19: Repeat Infections Can Be Dangerous, Even Deadly, Brand-New Study Reveals

Repeat COVID infections can be dangerous, even deadly, even for those who have been vaccinated and boosted according to a brand-new study.
Repeat COVID infections can be dangerous, even deadly, even for those who have been vaccinated and boosted according to a brand-new study. Photo Credit: Annie Spratt on Unsplash/CDC

Repeat COVID-19 infections can be dangerous, even deadly, including for those who have been vaccinated and boosted, according to a brand-new study. 

The study by the Washington University School of Medicine and the Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care system found that "repeat SARS-CoV-2 infections contribute significant additional risk of adverse health conditions in multiple organ systems."

The findings, published Thursday, Nov. 10 in Nature Medicine, reported that such outcomes include:

  • hospitalization; 
  • disorders affecting the lungs, heart, brain, and the body’s blood, musculoskeletal and gastrointestinal systems; 
  • and even death. 

Reinfection also contributes to diabetes, kidney disease, and mental health issues even among those who have been vaccinated and boosted, the study said.

“This means that even if you’ve had two COVID-19 infections, it’s better to avoid a third,” said senior author Ziyad Al-Aly, MD, the director of the Clinical Epidemiology Center, and the Chief of Research and Education Service at Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care System. “And if you’ve had three infections, it’s best to avoid the fourth.”

Al-Aly said that during the past few months, "there’s been an air of invincibility among people who have 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."

The risk seemingly increases with each new infection, the study said.

“Without ambiguity," Al-Aly said, "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.”

View the findings of the study here.

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