Washington University Study Confirms That Repeated Infections With SARS-CoV-2 Will Lead To Increased Risk Of Disease Severity, Mortality And Worse PASC!
A new study by researchers from Washington University School of Medicine-USA and VA Saint Louis Health Care System-USA has found confirmed that repeated infections or reinfections with SARS-CoV-2 will lead to increased risk of disease severity, mortality and worse PASC (Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS CoV-2 infection) or Long COVID outcomes.
In the past, certain ‘garbage’ researchers had insisted that reinfections would not have any effect on as there was either natural immunity or in the case of those that had received the relevant vaccines or boosters, induced immunity that would protect such reinfected individuals. However, more research data has emerged over time indicating that this is not the case including claims that vaccinations and booster shots prevent Long COVID. (There are however some big pharma paid studies with faked manipulated findings involving unethical researchers and institutions that have claimed otherwise!)
study team used the national health care databases of the US Department of Veterans Affairs to build a cohort of individuals with first infection (n = 257,427), reinfection (2 or more infections, n = 38,926), and a non-infected control group (n = 5,396,855) to estimate risks and 6-month burdens of all-cause mortality, hospitalization, and a set of pre-specified incident outcomes.
The study findings showed that compared to individuals with first infection, reinfection contributes additional risks of all-cause mortality, hospitalization, and adverse health outcomes in the pulmonary and several extrapulmonary organ systems (cardiovascular disorders, coagulation and hematologic disorders, diabetes, fatigue, gastrointestinal disorders, kidney disorders, mental health disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, and neurologic disorders); the risks were evident in those who were unvaccinated, had 1 shot, or 2 or more shots prior to the second infection; the risks were most pronounced in the acute phase, but persisted in the post-acute phase of reinfection, and most were still evident at 6 months after reinfection.
When compared to non-infected controls, assessment of the cumulative risks of repeated infection showed that the risk and burden increased in a graded fashion according to the number of infections.
The constellation of findings show that reinfection adds non-trivial risks of all-cause mortality, hospitalization, and adverse health outcomes in the acute and post-acute phase of the reinfection. Reducing overall burden of death and disease due to SARS-CoV-2 will require strategies for reinfection prevention.
The study findings were published on a preprint server: Research Square and is current being peer reviewed for publication in the Nature Portfolio journal. https://www.researchsquare.com/article/rs-1749502/v1
The study findings confirmed that acute severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) reinfection adds to the risks of all-cause mortality and hospitalization accrued during the first SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Alarmingly, worldwide, individuals are acquiring repeat SARS-CoV-2 infections or reinfections as waves after waves of newer SARS-CoV-2
variants and subvariants are emerging and spreading around.
To date however, no studies have not extensively investigated whether reinfection contributes to an increased risk of post-acute sequelae in the pulmonary and extrapulmonary organ systems and even death.
Study data addressing these questions could reduce the overall burden of SARS-CoV-2 infections and inform reinfection mitigation and prevention strategies.
The study team accessed the United States Department of Veterans Affairs electronic healthcare records (EHRs) to investigate how SARS-CoV-2 reinfection adds to the risk acquired after the first infection.
The study team characterized the risks and 6-month burden of a panel of pre-specified outcomes in a cohort of people with first infection (n = 257,427), reinfection (2 or more infections, n = 38,926), and a non-infected control group (n = 5,396,855) to estimate risks and 6-month burdens of all-cause mortality, hospitalization, and a set of pre-specified incident outcomes.
The study team presented two measures of SARS-CoV-2 reinfection-related risks. First, they assessed the adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) of pre-specified outcomes in re-infected people with those with a first SARS-CoV-2 infection. Second, they assessed the adjusted excess burden of each adverse clinical outcome of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) per 1,000 persons at six months of reinfection.
Finally, the research team performed positive and negative outcome control analyses. The positive outcome control analysis tested the association of a SARS-CoV-2 infection with the risk of fatigue, a well-characterized, key post-acute sequela of COVID-19. In the negative outcome control analyses, the researchers tested the association of a SARS-CoV-2 infection with negative outcome controls, such as atopic dermatitis and neoplasms.
The study population had 257,427 participants who contracted COVID-19 only once and 38,926 participants with two or more SARS-CoV-2 reinfections. In the test group with reinfection cases, 12.29%, 0.76%, and 0.08% of individuals had two, three, and four or more infections, respectively. The median time distribution between the first-second and second-third infection was 79 and 65 days, respectively. Post-weighting, the standardized mean differences in the participant characteristics, including medications, diagnoses, and laboratory test results, remained balanced in each analysis.
Importantly those with reinfections had a higher risk of all-cause mortality, with HR of 2.14 and an excess burden of all-cause mortality of 23.8 per 1000 persons at six months. These individuals also had a higher hospitalization risk, with an HR of 2.98.
It should also be noted that it was also found that individuals with reinfection exhibited an increased risk of sequelae in the pulmonary and several extrapulmonary organ systems. Accordingly, reinfection increased the risk of adverse health outcomes in people with cardiovascular disorders, kidney problems, gastrointestinal issues, and musculoskeletal and neurological disorders. Overall, reinfection adversely impacted several extrapulmonary organ systems and the pulmonary system.
The study positive outcome control analysis was based on prior biological and epidemiological evidence. Its results showed that compared to a non-infected control group, those with repeat SARS-CoV-2 infection exhibited an increased risk of fatigue (HR=2.02). Conversely, the risk of atopic dermatitis and neoplasms showed no such association.
It was also found that the time from initial infection to reinfection did not change the association between reinfection and the accrued risks of all-cause mortality, at least one post-acute sequela, and hospitalization, as indicated by the interactions on the multiplicative scale.
The study findings conclude that a SARS-CoV-2 reinfection, regardless of a person's vaccination status, increased the risk of all-cause mortality, hospitalization, at least one sequelae, and sequelae in different organ systems compared to the first infection.
Though the risks were most pronounced in the acute infection phase, they persisted in the post-acute phase and up to six months for most sequelae.
Furthermore, the risk and burden of the pre-specified health outcomes increased in a graded fashion, with the lowest risk for individuals with one SARS-CoV-2 infection and the highest in people with three or more infections.
To date, over half a billion people have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 worldwide at least once based on official reported data. (In reality that amount is about 5 to 6-fold!)
The study research findings highlighted that continued vigilance is crucial for these people to reduce the overall risk to one's health. In addition, studies have gathered data that confirms that the reinfection risk is higher with the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant.
These study findings add to the existing body of evidence, further validating that reinfection adds risk in both acute and post-acute phases among fully vaccinated people. This implies that combined natural and vaccine-induced immunity does not mitigate the risk following SARS-CoV-2 reinfection.
Importantly this infers that regardless of COVID-19 history and vaccination status, individuals will need and benefit from reinfection prevention strategies which unfortunately is not being rolled by any health agencies or governments at the moment!
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