Repeat COVID Becomes Deadlier with Each Infection

Repeat COVID Becomes Deadlier with Each Infection

A study published in the November 10th, 2022 issue of Nature Medicine, discovered that becoming reinfected with COVID-19 doubles your risk of death from related health issues, and triples your risk for hospitalization. Moreover, the researchers stated the risks and burdens associated with reinfection remained, even after accounting for differences in COVID-19 variants such as Delta, Omicron, and BA.5. They found a person is more likely to experience issues with their lungs, heart, brain, blood, muscles, and digestive system following a second or third bout with Covid-19. 

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis conducted a large retrospective cohort study that involved data given to them by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). In all, the data pool consisted of 443,588 patients with a single SARS-CoV-2 infection, 40,947 with two or more infections, and 5.3 million noninfected individuals. 

“Reinfection with COVID-19 increases the risk of both acute outcomes and long COVID,” said Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. “This was evident in unvaccinated, vaccinated and boosted people.” U.S. News and World Report, 11/10/22

Study participants with repeat infections were over three times more likely to develop lung problems, three times more likely to suffer heart conditions, and 60% more likely to experience neurological disorders than patients who had been infected once. Researchers reported higher risks were most evident the first month following reinfection and still a factor six months later.

The good news is periodic testing at weekly or bi-weekly intervals can help you anticipate outbreaks in your facility and stop or slow the spread. As soon as infections are apparent, the infected individuals can be quarantined and those who begin to fall seriously ill can receive immediate medical attention.

Learn more about our Weekly COVID Testing Program and how you can better protect your facility from devastating outbreaks.