POST Online Media Lite Edition


NEWLY REPORTED COVID-19 CASES IN LAST 24 HOURS (4.15.2021, 1:40pm CEST, WHO):   U.S. 78,134    India 200,739    Brazil 82,186    France 38,956    Russia 8,326    The United Kingdom 2,471    Turkey 59,187    Italy 13,439    Germany 21,693    Poland 21,266    Argentina 27,001    Columbia 16,377    Mexico 4,293    Iran 25,582    Ukraine 14,553    Peru 6,387    Czechia 5,087    Indonesia 5,656    South Africa 1,599    The Netherlands 6,797    Chile 5,557    Canada 7,546    Romania 3,883    Iraq 7,972    Philippines 8,122    Sweden 3,471    Pakistan 4,503    Hungary 3,597    Bangladesh 5,185    Jordan 4,085    Serbia 3,572    Austria 2,032    Japan 3,952    Lebanon 2,460    United Arab Emirates 1,798    Bulgaria 2,944    Slovakia 1,069    Malaysia 1,889    Ecuador 2,950    Palestine 1,923    Greece 4,017    Croatia 3,099    Georgia 1,085    Azerbaijan 2,457    Bolivia 1,099    Tunisia 2,123    Kuwait 1,402    Paraguay 2,599    Ethiopia 1,893    Lithuania 1,371    Slovenia 1,049    Armenia 1,075    Venezuela 1,160    Oman 1,269    Bahrain 1,175    Uruguay 2,257    North Macedonia 1,128    Thailand 1,335    Mongolia 1,220    China 20    Singapore 27    New Zealand 2    Australia 14    South Korea 698   

Some coronavirus patients still have virus after symptoms disappear

Christian Fernsby |
In a new study, researchers found that half of the patients they treated for mild coronavirus infection still had coronavirus for up to eight days after symptoms disappeared.

Article continues below


The research letter was published online 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, PhD, and co-authors report on a study of 16 patients with COVID-19, 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.

Researchers collected samples from throat swabs taken from all patients on alternate days and analyzed.

Patients were discharged after their recovery and confirmation of negative viral status by at least two consecutive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests.

"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 primary symptoms in these patients included fever, cough, pain in the pharynx (pharyngalgia) and difficult or labored breathing (dyspnea).

Patients were treated with a range of medications.

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

The average duration of symptoms was eight days, while the length of time patients remained contagious after the end of their symptoms ranged from one to eight days.

Two patients had diabetes and one had tuberculosis, neither of which affected the timing of the course of COVID-19 infection.

"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."

The researchers emphasized that all of these patients had milder infections and recovered from the disease, and that the study looked at a small number of patients.

They noted that it is unclear whether similar results would hold true for more vulnerable patients such as the elderly, those with suppressed immune systems and patients on immunosuppressive therapies.

"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," Dr. Xie added.

What to read next

Faster diagnosis of lethal nerve disease could advance search for new treatments
Scientists find new way to attack herpes viruses
From A to G - Hepatitis