A research carried out between January 28th and February 9, on sixteen COVID-19 patients at the treatment centre of PLA General Hospital in Beijing-China, has revealed that Coronavirus patients with mild symptoms can still be “contagious” 8days after recovery.
The research claims that more than half of the COVID 19 patients treated for mild COVID-19 still possessed infection in their system up to eight days after symptoms have vanished.
Test specimens were obtained from throat swabs from the 16 patients averagely 35.5 years old on different days before analysis, upon testing negative to COVID-19 from two conservative PCR, Polymerase Chain Reaction.
According to the research paper, major symptoms involved cough, fever, difficulty in breathing and sore throat.
The researchers reported that five out of the sixteen patients had an incubation period of 5days but all had averagely 8days duration of symptoms. Some of them had underlying illnesses; 2 had tuberculosis and 1 diabetes; none of which affected the timing period.
These experts discovered that the period patients remained infectious, after symptoms have disappeared, ranged from 1-8day.
Lokesh Sharma, a co-author of the paper, stated that” 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,” he added.
Based on this discovery, Dr Lixin Xie (a professor- College of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the hospital in Beijing, China) urge “recovered COVID-19 patients” to remain in self-isolation for an added 14day, after recovery.
“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.” Dr Xie recommended.
“COVID-19 patients can be infectious even after their symptomatic recovery, so treat the asymptomatic/recently recovered patients as carefully as symptomatic patients.” He advised Physicians.
The research scientists further emphasised that they had a smaller specimen size with all victims showing mild infections and recovered from the illness. As a result, it remains unclear whether related results would be realized in more vulnerable sufferers (like the elderly, persons with suppressed immune systems and or immunosuppressive therapies).
Notwithstanding, Dr Xie insists that additional studies are required to find out whether the real-time PCR-detected virus is capable of spread in the advanced stages of COVID-19 infection.