It’s Time to be Wary of Covid Reinfection!

By  //  June 25, 2022

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Although highly infectious, the Omicron COVID-19 variant and sub-variants pose a greater risk of reinfection than other virus strains. It doesn’t imply it will happen to everyone. However, experts warn that one should consider this a new normal.

According to ChenMed’s Dr. Jason Lane, there are two reasons for this: for one, the virus keeps changing into new forms, which manage to escape the protection we have from older forms of the virus and vaccination; then, the security that we obtained from the older infection and vaccines doesn’t remain as strong as it was earlier. 

As per the ex-US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams, immunity to a disease can fade over time. If you get the flu, you may contract it again the following year because your immunity has waned. To prevent that from happening, we get a flu shot every year. It also applies to COVID-19. If you get it, you can get it again next year. We must strengthen our immunity with the necessary tools to prevent that from happening.

The frontline defense tools

Although reinfection can affect both vaccinated and unvaccinated people, the health leaders opine that vaccination is still one of the most potent tools to combat the severity and fatality risks of covid virus. People think they will not catch the virus again because they have taken their vaccine shots.

For example, you can think of the measles virus; but the covid vaccine doesn’t work like that – it reduces the risk of hospitalization. A case in point can be the recent surge in coronavirus cases, which has not seen deaths and hospitalizations the same way it did earlier. It is a hint that vaccines are helping people. 

If you compare the vaccination rates by the US states, Rhode Island stands at the number 1 position, recording almost 84% of cases of fully vaccinated people, as per the CDC.

Other American states that boast the highest number of fully vaccinated people include Vermont (nearly 82%), Maine (80.4%), Connecticut (80.1%), and Massachusetts (79.9). Areas like Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Wyoming have recorded less than 55% coverage. Interestingly, states such as Wyoming (14%) and Louisiana (26%) have been less supportive of official preventive measures for COVID-19, according to a study by MyBioSource.

The risk of long-covid

While COVID-19 might be getting less severe and people are getting better at fighting it off, it is unclear how reinfection can make people who have already had COVID-19 sick again. However, scientists are studying long COVID and its possible treatments. Long COVID can last for a long time. It can last for months after recovery from the initial infection. People facing this may experience fatigue, body pain, difficulty breathing, low concentration, headache, and decreased sense of smell and taste. There is a possibility that one out of four COVID-19 patients can suffer from this. And no one knows how reinfection would impact long covid.

It’s unknown or elusive if reinfection can lead to long COVID, but you should take precautions. It’s essential to recognize that initial infection and reinfection can put you at the risk of long COVID. Some groups, including obese, middle-aged individuals, can be more vulnerable to this. Even those who face severe symptoms need to be careful.

Prevention or precaution for reinfection

The best thing to do is to see that you don’t get reinfected with COVID-19 and that you don’t spread it to other people. For this, you can follow a few things, such as:

■ Wear a mask when you feel sick to avoid the risk of spreading the infection

■ Go for a test if you end up exposing yourself to an infected person

■ Wash your hands properly 

The experts suggest that good n95 masks can come in handy in crowded high-risk spaces. Also, it is critical to remember that covid is contagious.

Masking up can feel like a burden, or the fresh mask mandates can make one jittery and confused about the whole thing because it was only recently that everyone had kept their masks away.

For example, people in San Francisco Bay area’s Alameda County found it perplexing when the authorities restored the indoor mask mandates due to the increasing rate of hospital admissions led by viral infection. Combine this with the fact that schools in Alameda didn’t need to follow mask rules, whereas a neighboring district asked schools to cover their mouth and nose.

Although it is understandable to feel clueless in such scenarios, you can stay updated with your county’s latest covid-updates and stick to them to avoid confusion. You can visit their websites, track high-risk zones, and the guidelines around indoor safety and prevention methods. And if you feel sick or get any symptoms, don’t delay testing. Use an at-home kit or go to a drive-thru facility if there is one. For the time being, avoid gatherings until your health has bounced back.