A few weeks ago, a now infamous VA pre-print was released comparing the risk of poor outcomes (e.g. death, health problems) among those with reinfections to those with primary infections. The viral pre-print sent shockwaves through media, as the study was widely misinterpreted to say the health risks from reinfections are worse than risks from primary infections. This is not what the study showed.
The authors did not compare reinfections to the same person’s primary infection. Instead they compared people with reinfections to a separate cohort of people with primary infections (see figure below). Because of this, the only thing we can conclude is that being infected again is worse than not being infected again, which is expected.
It’s also important to recognize that this sample was high risk: The average person in the study was 62 years old, 25% were smokers, 80-90% were unvaccinated, 30-40% had diabetes, and 19-26% had heart disease. Similarly, among those reinfected, 20% were hospitalized during the first infection. Among those who had three infections, 8.3% were immunocompromised (compared to 1.1% of first infections).
It’s imperative to assess severity of reinfection among high-risk groups. And, clearly, there are vulnerable pockets of people that will get severe reinfections. But, assuming reinfections are more severe than primary infections for everyone is incorrect.
Don’t wanna be a Debbie Downer but this article on how the western world is sleep-walking into disaster with our “living with Covid” strategies is completely terrifying.
New research shows:
The pandemic is not over, and it will not likely end for years. It spreads through the air in aerosols like a viral smoke, in distances greater than two metres. The disease (a thrombotic fever) is not mild. Just one infection can destabilize your immune system and age it by 10 years. The risk of long COVID increases with each infection. Reinfections harm the immune system and increase hospitalizations and death even among the vaccinated. (Just watch the data coming out of England and Quebec now.)
- Infection with covid does not give you protection against future infection
- Each reinfection increases the chances of long-term damage to your immune system, increasing the risk of susceptibility to other infections including - you guessed it - Monkeypox
- Letting the virus run rampant with no mitigation strategies effectively leaves the whole population vulnerable to long-term or even terminal neurological damage and chronic illness
- Any immunity from vaccines is quickly waning the more Omicron mutates
Happy Thursday, I guess!
We could have avoided this deteriorating situation, as The Tyee repeatedly advised, by eliminating COVID in our communities more than a year ago.
Elimination remains the only long-term and bottom-up strategy that makes any sense in terms of risk reduction. It is also imminently doable with adequate testing, masking, tracing, supported sick leave and targeted goals for reducing transmission.
But this is easier said than done... are we really going to have 2020 rules for the rest of our lives? Testing, quarantines, contact tracing etc. it cost the world an absolute fortune, we can't do that forever. Plus, it would require a global lockdown again and restrictions on travel as not every country will have the same rules. It's impossible.
Going for zero Covid isn’t going to be possible now but had we acted quickly and put health over economy at the start, we could have.
But the right wing media spent so much time going on about mask wearing being oppressive that they’ve fucked us all over.
They didn’t, and they won’t do any differently. There’s a new wave and there’s no strategy, as long as the economy doesn’t suffer a big impact again: it’s all about short term gain and not about peoples lives. There’s clear evidence supporting investment on mitigating / containment strategies, such as better indoors air circulation. There’s no “learning to live with it” as we are right now, it’s not possible.Oh absolutely, the start of this pandemic was shambolic. Governments didn't know what to do. The WHO did nothing. The scientists (with all respect) kept giving conflicting advice. There wasn't enough PPE globally.
I really hope the world's governments learn from this.
Most cases of loss of smell/taste clear up within a few weeks or months.
Or, you could be like me, who is now 2 years and 4 months post-Covid and still can’t smell or taste properly…
Are the vaccines losing effectiveness? I seem to know just as many cases as before in this wave and just as many people with symptoms