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Research shows that multiple COVID infections could lead to severe health complications

A recently published study found that multiple cases of COVID-19 reinfection could severely affect several organ systems.

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Megan Clay gives a patient a COVID-19 test in West Valley City on Wednesday, July 6, 2022.

Megan Clay gives a patient a COVID-19 test in West Valley City on July 6, 2022.

Ben B. Braun, Deseret News

A recent study published in the journal Nature Medicine found that repeated COVID-19 infections could cause strain on various organ systems, leading to severe long and short-term health complications.

Key findings: The study found that COVID-19 can impact the body’s organ systems during the duration of the illness and long after, regardless of vaccination status.

  • The research further explains that people who have contracted COVID-19 multiple times are more likely to be diagnosed with long COVID, as opposed to individuals who have only had the virus once.
  • People who had been infected with COVID-19 more than once were three times more likely to be hospitalized and twice as likely to die than those who had only had the virus once, according to the study.

About the study: The study was completed by a group of epidemiologists and researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, per Time magazine.

  • To gather their data, the team analyzed 5.3 million health records from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, comparing the health status of people who have not tested positive for COVID-19 over the last two years to the records of people who have tested positive for the virus once, and then against a group that had contracted the virus multiple times.

Bottom line: Ziyad Al-Aly, one of the authors of the study, told The Washington Post that when it comes to COVID-19, reinfection “absolutely” matters.

  • Previous Deseret News reporting has found that there is not one simple answer when it comes to COVID-19 immunity. While vaccination and previous infection have been shown to reduce chances of reinfection, it doesn’t reduce that chance to zero.
  • Al-Aly told the Post that as the holidays approach, people should consider what they can do to minimize the risk of infection.
  • “I’m not advocating for lockdown or any draconian measures, but I feel if you are boarding a plane, for example, to see your family for Thanksgiving, well, wear that mask as it will protect you and those around you,” he said.