Although most countries have declared the end of the pandemic and biosecurity measures are no longer as strict, the covid-19 has not disappeared. Even if you have been infected before, the risk of reinfection is always present.
Reinfections are not usually worrying situations in common flu or respiratory viruses. Unless there is a pre-existing health problem, doctors are not alarmed by flu symptoms. However the SARS-CoV-2 It is a virus like never seen before, which can affect every organ in the body and leaves almost permanent sequelae.
According to a study, you can expect to be reinfected with covid-19 up to 1 or 2 times a year. Due to the rapid mutation of this virus, its variants can evade the barriers of the immune system and infect the body again. One thing scientists agree on is that with every new infection there are risks, and negative effects can accumulate in the body over time.
“You can dodge [resultados graves] the first, second or even the third time, but you may not be so lucky the fourth time,” said Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, chief of service for research and education at Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health System. “Every infection is an opportunity for you to develop a problem with the virus; you can’t avoid it forever,” he stated.
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The reinfection rate of covid-19
In the first months of the pandemic, almost no questions about covid-19 were answered. Those who were infected first wanted to know if it was possible to get infected again, and now we know that it is. In fact, there is no limit to the number of times you can be infected with the virus.
If you have already been infected with covid-19 earlier, your body can develop a protection against the virus. A study pointed out that the risks of reinfection decrease by 80%, but that immunity only lasts for 6 months.
The vaccines developed against covid-19 have also been shown to reduce the chances of reinfection, severe symptoms, hospitalization and death. However, its effectiveness depends on the variant circulating in your body at the time.
How reinfection affects the body
Any infection, whether from a virus, bacteria or parasites, has negative effects on the body. These effects vary from person to person, as it depends on a pre-existing medical condition, the current state of health, the immune system and other factors.
Although getting infected covid-19 once it creates antibodies that allow the immune system to prevent contagion a second time, the protection ends after 6 months. If there is a second contagion, the body will be weaker to fight the disease.
No matter how mild or severe the infection, studies show that negative symptoms can be cumulative. According to a study, which analyzed the health status of 5.6 million US veterans, each positive test carries increased risks of serious health consequences, such as cardiac, renal, gastrointestinal and neurological disorders.
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There’s also a theory that COVID-19 triggers an autoimmune response that puts a person’s immune system into overdrive, causing widespread inflammation that can cause symptoms like fatigue, brain fog, muscle aches and more.
Not all doctors think it’s cause for alarm
Shira Doron, an infectious disease physician and hospital epidemiologist at Tufts Medical Center, doesn’t think the study results apply to the entire population.
“We know that during any period of time, and certainly during the period between one infection and another, underlying chronic conditions can worsen. That’s the natural courseDoron said. “I don’t want people to think that the norm is to have a chronic disease as a result of the first infection and then worsen the chronic disease as a result of each subsequent one.”
According to research supported by Dr. adults and children experience similar or less severe symptoms during their second covid-19 infection compared to the first, and that the risk of reinfection decreases over time.
Gerardo Chowell, a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the Georgia State University School of Public Health, isn’t surprised that coronavirus reinfections can cause increasing damage to the body, though he said this may not be true for everybody.
“People with weakened immune systems will have a harder time recovering from the virus, and that’s the biggest issue here,” the doctor said.