Coronavirus patients could still be contagious after symptoms resolve

Coronavirus patients could still be contagious after symptoms resolve

Patients with coronavirus may be contagious for several days after their symptoms disappear, a new small study suggests.

The team studied 16 confirmed COVID-19 patients who were treated and released from the Treatment Center of PLA General Hospital in Beijing, between January 28 and February 9, 2020.

"A recent study showed the infectivity of asymptomatic patients (having no clinical symptoms but testing positive for COVID-19) could be almost the same as confirmed cases", the report said on Sunday.

For the findings, researchers collected samples from throat swabs taken from all patients on alternate days and analysed.

Study co-author Lokesh Sharma, PhD, instructor of medicine, Section of Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine, Department of Medicine, 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". These patients were discharged after they have recovered, and they were found to be negative after submitting to at least two successive polymerase chain reaction tests.

Speaking on similar lines, a Chinese doctor working, who is treating Covid-19 patients in Beijing, said numerous cases of mysterious pneumonia outbreaks had been reported by health professionals across several countries previous year.

Primary symptoms included coughing, fever, pain in the pharynx (the membrane that connects the nose and mouth to the esophagus) and shortness of breath.

The time from infection to onset of symptoms (incubation period) was five days among all but one patient, the study said.

And it appears this unusual symptom may affect young people who may not show other signs of the virus, including a cough and high temperature. Two sufferers had diabetes and one had tuberculosis, neither of which affected the timing of the process COVID-19 an infection.

"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", Xie acknowledged.

Chronicle Live reports the loss of taste and smell - known as anosmia - is believed to be a symptom of "hidden carriers" so it's extremely important to follow guidance and stay inside to isolate if you experience it, to protect others. Anosmia, in particular, has been seen in patients, ultimately testing positive for the coronavirus with no other symptoms.

Norio Sugaya, a doctor with expertise in infectious diseases at Keiyu Hospital in Yokohama, pointed out there are some cases in which patients suffer a reduced sense of smell when they are infected with coronaviruses or rhinovirus, both of which are known to cause the common cold.

Data also points to a greater likelihood that individuals over the age of 65 with coronary heart disease or hypertension can contract the illness, as well experience more severe symptoms that will require critical care, the researchers said. It's unclear whether the same results would be found with an older group or among those with compromised immune systems.

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