Coronavirus can stay in patients for up to eight days after symptoms end
New Delhi : A new study on COVID-19 infection has revealed that a coronavirus patient may carry the coronavirus with him for up to eight days despite after symptoms are disappeared.
The research has been published in the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
In "Time Kinetics of Viral Clearance and Resolution of Symptoms in Novel Coronavirus Infection," Lixin Xie, MD, Lokesh Sharma studied 16 patients who were treated and released from the Treatment Center of PLA General Hospital in Beijing between January 28 and Feb. 9, 2020. Patients studied had a median age of 35.5 years.
The researchers collected sample data of the patients swab on every alternate day for analysis. The patients were discharged after they had completely recovered from the COVID 19 infection.
"The most significant finding from our study is that half of the patients kept shedding the virus even after resolution of their symptoms," said co-lead author Dr. Sharma, instructor of medicine, Section of Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine, Department of Medicine, Yale School of Medicine. "More severe infections may have even longer shedding times."
The coronavirus patients normally show symptoms like fever, cough, pain in the pharynx (pharyngalgia) and difficult or labored breathing (dyspnea).
"If you had mild respiratory symptoms from COVID-19 and were staying at home so as not to infect people, extend your quarantine for another two weeks after recovery to ensure that you don't infect other people," recommended corresponding author Lixin Xie, MD, professor, College of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing.
The authors had a special message for the medical community: "COVID-19 patients can be infectious even after their symptomatic recovery, so treat the asymptomatic/recently recovered patients as carefully as symptomatic patients."
Across the world, around 750,000 people have been found infected with the deadly coronavirus and 36000 people have been reported dead.