Contagion with COVID-19 although the disease has already subsided?
In the time of the corona crisis, to prevent the spread, it is important to understand whether people with COVID-19 infection can still excrete the virus after their symptoms have subsided. In fact, one study shows that half of the patients examined with a mild COVID-19 infection continue to excrete the virus after their symptoms have resolved.
A recent investigation by the Chinese PLA General Hospital in Beijing found that half of the patients treated for mild COVID-19 infection still had the coronavirus up to eight days after the symptoms disappeared. The results of the study were published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
16 people were examined
The investigation included 16 participants with COVID-19, who were treated between January 28 and February 9, 2020 in the treatment center of the PLA General Hospital in Beijing and discharged after recovery. The subjects examined had an average age of 35.5 years.
Which examinations were carried out?
The researchers took samples of throat swabs, which were taken and analyzed by all participants on alternating days. Patients were discharged after at least two successive polymerase chain reaction tests after their recovery and confirmation of a negative virus status.
Virus was also present in the body after the symptoms subsided
The results of the study show that around half of the patients continue to excrete the virus after their symptoms have subsided. Severe infections can result in even longer excretion times. The primary symptoms of these people included fever, cough, throat pain, and restricted breathing or difficulty breathing (dyspnea).
Contagion time after symptoms ended was up to eight days
The time from infection to onset of symptoms (incubation period) was five days in all patients (with one exception). The average duration of the symptoms was eight days, while the duration of the risk of infection after the end of the symptoms ranged from one to eight days for the patients. Two patients had diabetes and one had tuberculosis. Both diseases did not affect the time at which the COVID-19 infection ended.
How can you avoid infecting other people?
If people suffered from mild respiratory symptoms of COVID-19 and therefore did not leave their home to avoid contagion, the quarantine should extend safety by a further two weeks after the symptoms have subsided, the researchers conclude. In this way it can be ensured that no other people are infected.
Affected people can still be contagious after recovery
People with COVID-19 may still be symptomatic of their symptoms after recovery, so asymptomatic or newly recovered people should be treated as carefully as symptomatic patients, the research group emphasizes.
More research is needed
The researchers were only able to examine a small number of people who only suffered from milder infections. It is therefore unclear whether similar results would also apply to more susceptible patients such as the elderly, patients with suppressed immune systems and patients with immunosuppressive therapies. Further research would be appropriate here. (as)
- De Chang, Guoxin Mo, Xin Yuan, Yi Tao, Xiaohua Peng et al .: Time Kinetics of Viral Clearance and Resolution of Symptoms in Novel Coronavirus Infection, in American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine (Published Mar 23, 2020), American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
This article contains general information only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. He can not substitute a visit at the doctor.