Rambod A. Rouhbakhsh, MD, discusses COVID reinfections with American Medical Association

Rambod A. Rouhbakhsh, MD, was recently featured in the American Medical Association’s What Doctors Wish Patients Knew™ series, where he discussed COVID reinfections alongside Nancy Crum, MD, an infectious disease physician at Avita Health System in Galion, Ohio.

Drs. Rouhbakhsh and Crum expounded on the potential impact of reinfection and the reasons why it is important to try to avoid reinfection. He said contracting COVID multiple times “should not be the mechanism by which you aspire to get immunity from the virus.”

“It can be problematic if you are reinfected,” Rouhbakhsh said. “We know from a pretty elegant study that was recently published in Nature Medicine that each subsequent COVID infection can increase your risk of developing chronic health issues, like diabetes, kidney disease, organ failure and even mental health problems.”

Such evidence “dispels the myth that repeated brushes with the virus are mild and you don’t have to worry about it,” he added, noting that “it is akin to playing Russian roulette.”

Rouhbakhsh pointed out that multiple bouts of COVID could also heighten the chances of a person developing long COVID symptoms.

“There are a lot of things that go into long COVID that we are still learning… we can’t really say what the implications are just yet,” Dr. Rouhbakhsh said. “We do think, however, you’re less likely to get long COVID the less you are infected.”

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