Covid-19 patients are infectious even after recovery

Covid-19 Patients Are Infectious Even After Recovery From Symptoms

Researchers discovered in a study that half of the Covid-19 patients treated for mild infection still had the infection for up to 8 days after the symptoms disappeared. The American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine published the results online.

Lokesh Sharma, PhD, Lixin Xie, MD, and their team studied 16 Covid-19 patients who were treated and released between January 28 and February 9, 2020, from the Treatment Center of PLA General Hospital in Beijing. The median age of patients studied was 35.5 years. They published their findings as a research paper titled “Time Kinetics of Viral Clearance and Resolution of Symptoms in Novel Coronavirus Infection”.

The researchers collected the throat swab from all patients on alternate days and analyzed them. The patients were discharged only after they tested negative in two consecutive RT-PCR tests.

Even after the resolution of their symptoms, half of the patients kept shedding the virus, said co-lead author Dr. Sharma. Dr. Sharma is an instructor at the Department of Medicine, Yale School of Medicine. He added that severe infections have even longer shedding times.

Cough, fever, difficulty in breathing and pain in the pharynx were

the primary symptoms in these patients. A range of medications was used to treat the patients.

It took five days from the time of infection to develop symptoms in all patients except one. The symptoms lasted in the patients for an average period of 8 days. After the symptoms disappeared, the patients remained contagious from one to eight days. Two patients with other health issues like diabetes and tuberculosis also had the same time course of COVID-19 infection.

The author, Lixin Xie, MD, professor, College of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, recommended that Covid-19 patients with mild respiratory symptoms and are staying at home need to extend their quarantine to another two weeks after their recovery to avoid infecting others.

The researchers are sharing a very important message to the medical community that the novel coronavirus patients can be infectious even after their recovery, so treat those recovered patients as careful as symptomatic patients.

It is unclear that more vulnerable patients like the elderly, patients on immunosuppressive therapies and those with suppressed immune systems would show the same results. The study looked at only a small number of patients who had milder symptoms and recovered from the disease.

“Further studies are needed to investigate if the real-time PCR-detected virus is capable of transmission in the later stages of COVID-19 infection,” Dr. Xie added.


Editor’s Note; Covid-19 Patients Are Infectious Even After Recovery From Symptoms,up to 8 days patients were infectious.