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Covid-19: why multiplying infections with the virus increases the risk of serious health problems

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An American team of researchers has investigated the risks associated with reinfections of Covid-19. In a study, these researchers thus confirm that multiple contaminations with the virus increase the risk of developing serious diseases.

Two and a half years after the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is an expected investigation that has just been revealed in broad daylight. This document, published in the journal Natural medicine On Thursday 10 November, the consequences of reinfections will be looked at. Thus, anyone who has been infected with SARS-CoV-2 multiple times will be at greater risk of developing potentially serious health problems. The study is all the more important as in recent months, while the virus has continued to mutate, re-infections with the virus have multiplied.

Also read:
Covid-19: why shorter and shorter reinfections could explode the number of reported cases

But until now, the consequences of these reinfections on our organisms were not well understood. Researchers from Washington University in Saint-Louis have therefore taken an interest in this phenomenon. To find out, they used an unusual method: they analyzed the anonymized medical records of 5.8 million people, which came from the US Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Health Care Database.

Among this sample of people, nearly 443,000 of them tested positive for Covid-19 at least once between March 1, 2020 and April 2022. In this panel of people, 41,000 patients were infected with the virus more than once. 93% of these 41,000 people were infected twice, 6% were infected three times and almost 1% got the virus four times. A total of 5.3 million people in this sample were never infected.

Heart problems, lungs…

The researchers therefore sought to compare the medical records of these different groups of people. They found that “people who were reinfected were at increased risk for all kinds of adverse health problems,” said study lead author Ziyad Al-Aly, an epidemiologist at Washington University in St. Louis. Thus, the document estimates that heart and lung problems were almost three times more common in patients who suffered multiple reinfections. Being contaminated repeatedly can also lead to brain disease, kidney disease or diabetes.

Also read:
Covid-19: have you already had it and are you afraid of catching it again? We tell you all about reinfection

However, the authors of this study acknowledge that the population studied exhibits some bias: the panel of patients studied consisted mainly of white and fairly old men.

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