Multiple COVID-19 infections linked to organ failure

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – According to a new study published in Nature Medicine, patients infected with the coronavirus two or three times have a greater risk of organ damage compared to patients who were only infected once.

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis looked at electronic health records of 443,000 people who tested positive once for COVID-19 between March 2020 and April 2022. They also looked at an estimated 40,000 people who had two or more confirmed infections during that same time period. 

Results showed patients with two or three infections were 3.5 times more likely to develop lung problems, 3 times more likely to suffer heart conditions, and 1.6 times more likely to have brain complications compared to patients who were only infected once. 

“Our findings have broad public health implications as they tell us that strategies to prevent or reduce the risk of infection should be implemented,” lead study author, Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, said in a news release. Going into the winter season, people should be aware of the risks and practice vigilance to reduce their risk of infection or reinfection with SARS-CoV-2.”

Approximately one in every ten people who’ve had COVID will get the virus again.