Coronavirus patients ‘still infectious 8 days after recovery” – Report
London, March 31, 2020 (AltAfrica)– Coronavirus patients with mild symptoms could still be contagious for up to eight days after getting better, experts have claimed.
New research found that half of patients treated for mild Covid-19 still had the infection in their system a week after symptoms disappeared.
The study was based on 16 patients who tested positive for coronavirus at the Treatment Center of PLA General Hospital in Beijing, China, between January 28 and February 9.
Researchers collected samples from throat swabs taken from all patients – who had an average age of 35.5 – on alternate days before analysing them.
Patients were discharged after recovering from coronavirus and confirmed as being negative by at least two consecutive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests.
Professor Lokesh Sharma, who co-authored the paper, from the Yale School of Medicine, said: “The most significant finding from our study is that half of the patients kept shedding the virus even after resolution of their symptoms.
“More severe infections may have even longer shedding times.”
The main symptoms included fever, cough, difficulty breathing and a sore throat, according to the research letter published in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Scientists said the incubation period was five days in all but one patient, while the average duration of symptoms was eight days.
Johns Hopkins University researchers, who have been keeping track of the spread of the virus, say the global number of cases is now at least 755,591.
The institution collects figures from the World Health Organization and other international bodies, as well as media reports, national governments and other sources. Given the differing levels of testing capacity and concerns that some countries are understating their cases, the true scale of the outbreak is likely to be even greater.