Many people are re-infected with Covid-19

HanoiIn the last two weeks, Duc Giang and Thanh Nhan hospitals, the Central Institute for Tropical Diseases, have received many patients who have recovered from Covid for 2-3 months and have been re-infected, but their symptoms are less severe.

On July 22, Doctor Nguyen Van Hoc, Deputy Head of the Emergency Department, Duc Giang General Hospital, said the number of respiratory patients increased from 30 to 45 cases a day, of which 10-20% had Covid, many of them had Covid. reinfected people.

According to Doctor Hoc, the number of F0 re-infected with Covid-19 has increased, but there are no specific statistics. The earliest case of re-infection is a month and a half after recovering from Covid-19, others re-infected after two to three months. Reinfection occurs in most age groups, including those who have received the booster nasal vaccine, but symptoms are mild such as dry cough, sneezing, runny nose, sore throat…

“However, patients should not be subjective, especially the elderly, with many underlying diseases or immunocompromised people are still at risk of getting worse, even if they have been vaccinated or re-infected for a second time,” the doctor said.

The hospital is treating about 10-15 F0, mainly the elderly, have underlying diseases or are at risk such as pregnant women and children. This is a lower number than the outbreak in March, when the facility at one time treated 400 patients (40% severe).

Also being the last-line hospital to treat severe F0, the Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases received an increased number of people coming for Covid examination. Doctor Pham Van Phuc, Deputy Head of the Intensive Care Unit, said that two months ago, the department received very few patients, a few cases a week. Currently, this unit treats 22 F0, including 6 invasive ventilators.

More than 50% of patients who come to the clinic are re-infected with Covid, with similar symptoms to the first time. The severe and critical F0 group is the elderly, with many underlying diseases, or immunocompromised people such as HIV/AIDS, organ transplant patients, and blood diseases. These people have to breathe oxygen, use antiviral drugs, Covid drugs, inhibitors … for many weeks to recover.

The Hospital for Covid Patients (under the Medical University Hospital) is treating 21 patients with moderate to severe severity, of which two are mechanical ventilation and three oxygen-frame breathing cases (previously only 3-4 cases). The number of hospitalized patients increased, about 5 cases a day. Doctors forecast that in the coming week, the number of hospital admissions may continue to increase, but not as overloaded as in March.

In the past week, the whole country recorded an increase in the number of infections again, with an average of 900 new cases per day, and on July 21 alone recorded nearly 1,300 – the highest in the past 47 days. Hanoi continues to be the locality with the most cases. From June 23 to now, the whole country has recorded 6 deaths. During the same period, the number of severe cases increased by 21% from 422 to 510.

The Ministry of Health assessed that the Covid-19 epidemic was still complicated and unpredictable and had broken out again in some countries with the appearance of new strains, especially in the European region with many re-infections. Many countries around the world have also advised people to wear masks again.

Explaining the increase in the number of new cases, in which many people are re-infected, Associate Professor Tran Dac Phu, former Director of the Department of Preventive Medicine, Ministry of Health, said that this situation may be related to new strains and caused by humans. democratic, negligent.

According to Mr. Phu, new strains such as BA.4, BA.5, BA.2.12.1… are easier to transmit and evade immunity better than the previous version of Omicron. People who have had Covid-19 before, even with BA.1 or BA.2 are still at risk of BA.4 and BA.5 infection.

Recent research by Columbia University, USA, also shows that two sub-variants BA.4 and BA.5 are at least 4 times more likely to escape the protection of the immune system than previous versions of Omicron. time. This makes many people who have had Covid or received vaccines, including booster doses, still have the possibility of re-infection. However, scientists assert that vaccination is still the best way to protect users against severe disease and death from Covid-19, while also reducing the risk of re-infection.

Therefore, Associate Professor Phu recommends that people do not ignore when they see that Covid-19 has been controlled, especially the elderly, with many underlying diseases, and people with weakened immune systems. These are the groups at high risk of becoming seriously ill with Covid-19. Besides, when gathering in large numbers, everyone tries to wear masks. Continue to vaccinate against disease. If there are symptoms of the upper respiratory tract, flu should go to the doctor for early detection, isolation, and separation of the source of infection from the community.

In the face of unpredictable epidemic developments, experts recommend that people actively vaccinate, especially high-risk groups, need a booster shot to avoid serious complications when they are unfortunately infected. Image: Pham Chieu

In 2020, cases of re-infection with nCoV are considered very rare. In 2021, a breakthrough infection in vaccinated people will occur, but the risk is low. By 2022, the condition will become more common. Experts cannot estimate the number of reinfections in a person, because anyone is at risk with a second or third exposure to the virus and reinfection.

“We should treat reinfection as part of the new normal. Hopefully with multiple infections, the antibody response will continue to improve,” said Dr. Julie McElrath, director of the Vaccines and Infectious Diseases division. infection at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, US, said, adding that a person’s likelihood of reinfection depends on the strength of the immune response and vaccination status.

After each exposure to the pathogen, the immune response matures and is further consolidated, so that most reinfections have less severe symptoms.

However, according to Ms. McElrath, there are still cases of developing dangerous symptoms after reinfection, for example people who are exposed to a much higher amount of the virus than the first time, or have completely weakened immunity. The elderly, have underlying medical conditions or are immunocompromised may still be severely ill.

Thuy An – Chile


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