Science

Covid-19 recovered patients could still shed virus, reveals study

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on October 29, 2020 Published on October 29, 2020

The study revealed that around 17 per cent of patients fully recovered from Covid-19 tested positive for the virus in follow-up tests.   -  THE HINDU

The study revealed that around 17 per cent of patients fully recovered from Covid-19 tested positive for the virus in follow-up tests.

Researchers at the Fondazione Policlinico Universitario "Agostino Gemelli" IRCCS, Rome, Italy, conducted a multidisciplinary study to assess Covid-19 patients after their recovery from the infection and the impact of the virus on their bodies.

The study revealed that around 17 per cent of patients fully recovered from Covid-19 tested positive for the virus in follow-up tests.

The researchers noticed that patients with persistent symptoms, especially of sore throat and rhinitis, were likely to have symptoms. They further stressed that these two symptoms should not be taken lightly.

Lead author Francesco Landi, MD, Ph.D., Fondazione Policlinico Universitario "Agostino Gemelli" IRCCS said: "Clinicians and researchers have focused on the acute phase of Covid-19, but continued monitoring after discharge for long-lasting effects is needed."

Methodology

For the study, the researchers assessed 131 patients who met the World Health Organization (WHO) criteria for discontinuation of quarantine at least two weeks before the follow-up visit.

The researchers then took the RT-PCR test of these patients. Clinical information of these patients was collected, with an emphasis on the Covid-19 symptoms such as cough, fatigue, diarrhoea, headache, smelling disorders, sore throat, and rhinitis.

Findings

The findings revealed that 22 (16.7 per cent) patients tested positive again. None of the patients had a fever, and all reported improvement in their overall clinical condition.

The study observed that some symptoms such as fatigue (51 per cent), laboured breathing (44 per cent), and coughing (17 per cent) were still present in a significant percentage of the patients.

The only two symptoms that were higher and significantly prevalent in patients with a positive test were sore throat (18 per cent vs. 4 per cent) and signs of rhinitis (27 per cent vs. 2 per cent).

Dr Landi added: “Our findings indicate that a noteworthy rate of recovered patients with Covid-19 could still be asymptomatic carriers of the virus. The main question for the containment of SARS-CoV-2 pandemic infection that still needs to be answered is whether the persistent presence of virus fragments means the patients are still contagious.”

The study was published in the journal American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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Published on October 29, 2020
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