Geeking Science: COVID More than Once

Three and a half years into the pandemic, now also endemic, first shot and a couple boosters (thank you universe for human ingenuity to quickly identify and create a vaccine), COVID-19 aspects continue to prove its Novel aspect.
Normally I love Novels … but not so much in medicine as novel there means new and unprecedented. Or, really, “we don’t know what the f* is going to happen until it happens.” The brains are trying so hard, and studying so much, but the mutations and the reinfections are do a fan dance reveal, hiding all the good stuff from the scientists.
Especially for long-term COVID.
Remember at the beginning we thought COVID-19 was the typical respiratory disease with its coughing and pneumonia like reactions. The big worry was the cytokine storm killing people. Took a little time to figure out how best to care for people to prevent the storm.
But COVID was hiding what it really was when hanging out in the blood-rich lungs. Now we know it is a vasculature disease – anywhere blood flows, COVID goes. And what it really likes to damage during its house parties is the itsy-bitsy blood vessels carrying oxygen from the lungs to the brain, hence Brain Fog being one of the worst hits of this disease.
A … study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care system shows the health consequences of reinfection. The researchers found that repeat SARS-CoV-2 infections contribute significant additional risk of adverse health conditions in multiple organ systems. (Sauerwein. 2022)
Unlike glorious chicken-pox, which is pretty much a one and done, COVID can be caught more than once, and each round contributes to the damage making acute COVID more likely, long-term COVID more likely, and all the other hosts of issues. Thanks to the vast database of the Veterans Affairs, cases could be studied from initial infection through further courses of care, and a lot of reveals came out.
The small scars riddled throughout the blood system increases heart attacks and strokes.
(P)eople with repeat infections were 3½ times more likely to develop lung problems, three times more likely to suffer heart conditions and 1.6 times more likely to experience brain conditions than patients who had been infected with the virus once. (Sauerwein, 2022)
The bottom line is, COVID isn’t done and we need to avoid catching it still.
Stay safe and stay well folks. Be cautious with our new normal.
AdventHealth. “COVID-19: Transitioning from Pandemic to Endemic.” August 24, 2022. – last viewed 12/23/2022.
Martinez-Salazar, B. Holwerda, M. Studle, C. Piragyte, I. Mercader, N. Engelhardt, B. Rieben, R. and Doring, Y. “COVID-19 and the Vasculature: Current Aspects and Long-Term Consequences.” Frontiers in Cell and Development Biology. February 15, 2022. – last viewed 12/23/2022.
Sauerwein, Kristina. “Repeat COVID-19 infections increase risk of organ failure, death.” Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. November 10, 2022. – last viewed 12/23/2022.