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COVID reinfection leaves more lasting effects including severe symptoms

With 97.8 per cent of the adult population vaccinated with at least one dose, a sizeable proportion of the infections in the second wave is said to be due to a breakthrough infection.

Published: 03rd January 2022 03:11 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd January 2022 03:11 AM   |  A+A-

An elderly destitute man having his lunch supplied by a voluntary organisation, while a kitten looks on, at Gandhi Park in Thiruvananthapuram, during the covid lockdown in Kerala

An elderly destitute man having his lunch supplied by a voluntary organisation, while a kitten looks on, at Gandhi Park in Thiruvananthapuram, during the covid lockdown in Kerala. (Photo | BP Deepu,

Express News Service

KOCHI:  Deepthi Satheesh (27) first contracted COVID in June 2021. Starting with mild fever and cough, her condition escalated to chest infection, and she ended up in hospital for over a week. After recovery, though she had mild post-COVID issues of breathlessness and tiredness, Deepthi was relieved. For she thought the worst was over, and would be spared further COVID scares.

However, two weeks before Christmas, she tested positive again for the coronavirus infection. "The first time, both my husband and I were infected. But he was showing only mild symptoms, including fever, which lasted for a few days. Our children were shifted to my parents' place. I imagined we had overcome COVID by surviving an infection. But when I got infected again, it was very saddening. Though the symptoms were mild and no hospital admission was required, staying in isolation affected me both mentally and physically," said Deepthi, a resident of Tripunithura, who had taken the first dose COVID vaccination in November.

In the case of Anoop K (42) however, the reinfection left him with severe symptoms and post-COVID issues. "The first infection, in March, the effects were mild. But when I got infected again, in July, the disease impacted me severely. I had pneumonia and high fever and required hospitalisation," said Anoop, a resident of Kollam.

Kerala has reported more than 52 lakh cases so far with over 48,000 deaths. With 97.8 per cent of the adult population vaccinated with at least one dose, a sizeable proportion of the infections in the second wave is said to be due to either breakthrough infection or reinfection.

And it is now understood that post-COVID issues are more severe than at the time of infection. A 52-year-old resident of Palakkad developed Cardiac Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) after recovering from COVIDd. "I had mild symptoms when I tested positive for the second time, in August, but it left me with cardiac issues later," he said.

According to doctors, while there is no specific pattern observed in coronavirus infections - as cases vary from mild to severe when people are infected more than once - there is a noted difference in the impact on the vaccinated.

"The symptoms vary from person to person. Mostly, health workers get infected more than twice. However, a considerable difference has been noticed in the impact of the virus on people who have been vaccinated. Cases requiring hospitalisation have come down drastically among the vaccinated. In the wake of rising Omicron cases, caution remains key," said Dr Monu Varghese , a Kochi-based pulmonologist.



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