Home / News / World /  Covid reinfection: What happens if you are infected for 2nd or 3rd time?

World Health Organisation (WHO) and other experts have categorically stated that ‘COVID is here to stay’. And even though many of us have already been infected with the virus, reinfection cases are on the rise again. And the winter is a crucial time, as apart from COVID, many also contract flu and other pathogens, and for some, it can be critical. Here is all you need to know about  COVID reinfection. 

How severe can COVID reinfection be? 

It is difficult to say whether COVID reinfection can be mild or severe. The severity of the infection is directly linked to when you were last infected, your vaccination status etc. 

For example, vaccines do not guarantee that you won't be infected, but the severity might be less. At the same time, the immunity from the vaccines wanes after a certain point in time. 

Then, if you have recently recovered from a COVID infection it is likely that your body will keep an eye on the future pathogens and will fight it off. 

Hence, the severity of the infection is dependent on all these factors and, there is no 100% garuntee. 

“By and large, it seems milder. But there’s no guarantee," Dr. Gabe Kelen, chair of emergency medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, tells CNBC.

What are the symptoms of COVID reinfection? 

The symptoms of reinfection are usually similar to first-time infections. Since Omicron is the predominant variant currently so the symptoms of reinfection will be the same. 

Omicron and its subvariants generally appear to cause less severe symptoms than previous Covid variants — which could partly be because Americans are more protected with vaccines and previous infections than ever before, Dr. Roy Gulick, chief of infectious diseases at Weill Cornell Medicine, told CNBC.

Symptoms like sore throats, headaches, fatigue, coughs, nasal congestion and muscle aches are most commonly seen in infections caused by Omicron variants. These symptoms can linger in an individual for days and weeks.

Who are at risk of developing severe infections? 

People who are older, who are immunocompromised and those who have chronic underlying medical conditions are at higher risk of developing a severe condition due to COVID.

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