Scientists and doctors around the world can all agree that it's definitely not good that recovered coronavirus patients are retesting positive for COVID-19. Unfortunately, an increasing number of these cases is occurring.
The newest data regarding cured coronavirus patients retesting positive for COVID-19 is coming from South Korea. According to Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), 163 cases of patients who successfully recovered from the virus tested positive again after they were 'cured'. Out of the 7,829 people who have recovered from COVID-19 only 2% are retesting positive, some of which are developing mild symptoms again raising concerns from doctors that these recovered patients could be contagious.
KCDC director-general Jeong Eun-kyeong said that patients who have relapsed haven't been reported to have had any secondary transmission, and that the patients didn't contract the virus from other infected patients. KCDC officials say that that virus reactivates inside of a recovered patient who hasn't developed a strong enough immune system to completely remove it. The KCDC also reports that the virus can stay dormant for some period of time, with some relapsed cases being reported to have resurfaced on average 13.5 days from recovery. The longest being 35 days after recovery.
NPR reported in late March some cases of COVID-19 resurfacing in patients in China, one of the doctors spoke to NPR and said, "In terms of those who retested positive, the official party line is that they have not been proven to be infectious. That is not the same as saying they are not infectious. If they really are not infectious, then there would be no need to take them back to the hospitals again."
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