Jovelle Tamayo/The Washington Publish through Getty Im
In case you’ve gotten COVID greater than as soon as, as many individuals have, you might be questioning in case your danger for struggling the lingering signs of lengthy COVID is similar with each new an infection.
The reply seems to be no. The probabilities of lengthy COVID — a set of signs together with exhaustion and shortness of breath — falls sharply between the primary and second infections, in response to latest analysis.
“It does appear that the chance is considerably decrease the second time round than the primary time round for growing lengthy COVID,” says Daniel Ayoubkhani, a statistician on the Workplace for Nationwide Statistics in the UK, who’s been finding out lengthy COVID in that nation.
However the danger doesn’t fall to zero, in response to the most recent outcomes of an ongoing survey of greater than 500,000 folks within the U.Okay. by March 5.
“The danger of lengthy COVID is considerably decrease, … nevertheless it’s nonetheless non-negligible. It is not unattainable to develop lengthy COVID the second time should you did not develop it the primary time. I believe that is the important thing takeaway from our research,” Ayoubkhani says.
The survey tracked lengthy COVID signs like fatigue, muscle aches, shortness of breath and focus issues. Fatigue and bother concentrating had been the commonest.
Among the many adults within the survey, 4% reported lengthy COVID signs persisting a minimum of 4 weeks after their first an infection, the survey discovered. In distinction, simply 2.4% of those that hadn’t developed lingering well being issues after their first an infection reported ongoing signs after their second case.
“That is a major discount within the odds,” he says.
The research did not study why the chance for lengthy COVID could be decrease from a second an infection than a primary. However Ayoubkhani says there might be a number of causes.
For instance, the immunity folks have constructed up from earlier infections might cut back the chance of growing lengthy COVID from the following one. “We do not know that from our information, however that is a speculation,” he says.
One other chance is that the research excluded those that had gotten lengthy COVID from their first an infection, so those that did not get it from their first an infection could also be innately much less liable to lengthy COVID for some motive.
“It may have one thing to do with somebody’s predisposition,” he says.
The research additionally did not study whether or not a second an infection worsens signs in individuals who have already got lengthy COVID.
Though the research was performed within the U.Okay., there isn’t any motive to imagine the outcomes would not apply to the U.S., he says.
The truth is, the findings are in step with an earlier research that produced comparable outcomes by analyzing information from lots of of 1000’s of sufferers handled by the U.S. Veterans Administration.
That research, which was printed in November, discovered that the chance of nonetheless experiencing well being issues a 12 months after getting COVID fell from about 10% from a primary an infection to about 6% from a second an infection.
“Undeniably, we’re seeing very, very clearly that for the second an infection the chance is decrease than the primary an infection,” says Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, an epidemiologist at Washington College in St. Louis who led that research.
Al-Aly agrees which may be due partially to immunity from the primary an infection. One other issue is that later strains of the virus seem to trigger milder illness, which can make them much less more likely to result in long-COVID.
“When folks bought re-infected they often bought re-infected with omicron, which is definitely milder,” he stated, discussing the outcomes of his research.
One other doable affect could also be improved remedies, which lessened the severity of COVID, he says.
Neither research examined the chance of lengthy COVID after a 3rd or fourth an infection, however Al-Aly hopes that the chance would proceed to say no with every subsequent an infection.
“All this stuff are pointing in the proper course that makes me optimistic that sooner or later in time re-infection might add trivial dangers or non-consequential dangers,” he says.
“That is our hope. We do not have information. However that is our hope,” he says.
However Al-Aly notes that as a result of so many individuals are nonetheless catching the virus, the general quantity who’re affected by lingering well being issues continues to extend even when there’s a decrease danger from second infections.
“I kind of liken it to Russian Roulette,” Al-Aly says. “The percentages on the particular person degree of getting lengthy COVID after a second an infection versus the primary is decrease for any particular person individual.”
However he provides, “that danger just isn’t zero,” and which means at a inhabitants degree, we nonetheless see a rising variety of circumstances of lengthy COVID in the neighborhood — and a rising burden on caregivers and society.
Edited by Carmel Wroth.