Can people spread coronavirus after they recover? – The COVID-19 outbreak has infected more than 100,000 people in 119 countries in the world (11/3), of which more than 50 percent have been recovered. But if after recovering they can still transmit COVID-19 to others? Check out the following explanation.
Can patients transmit COVID-19 after they recover?
JAMA Journal publishes a recent study entitled Positive RT-PCR Test Results in Patients Recovered From COVID-19. The study showed that COVID-19 can survive in the body at least two weeks after the positive patient has recovered.
The study was carried out by following some positive COVID-19 patients who were treated at Zhongnan University Hospital in Wuhan from 1 January to 15 February 2020. The patients were declared to recover after their symptoms healed and after two tests (carried out in succession) stated negative results of COVID-19.
After recovering and completing the hospital quarantine period, patients are asked to undergo an additional quarantine period at home for 5 days. They also continue to do swab throat tests for 5 to 13 days in the recovery period. The tests between days 5 and 13 turned out to show positive results of COVID-19.
“These findings indicate that at least a portion of the recovered patients is still carriers of the virus (COVID-19),” the study wrote.
Similar cases like this finding were first reported in Japan. Women in their 40s are sick and positive for COVID-19 for the second time. It is not yet known for certain whether these women have contracted again or the patient’s body has not fully resisted the virus and caused symptoms again.
Quoted by the Japan Times, virologist and epidemiologist Rinku General Medical Center Masaya Yamato said it was too early to conclude this SARS-CoV-2 infection. He also could not yet know whether this patient could transmit COVID-19 after recovering.
However, Yamato assumed that the possibility was a virus that had not completely disappeared. “I believe the virus has been reactivated,” Yamato said. Such a scenario, said Yamato, might occur in patients who have not yet produced antibodies that can protect the body against viruses.
In fully healthy patients antibodies and reactivation are unlikely to occur. According to Yamato COVID-19 patients need at least 14 days to produce antibodies – or longer for elderly patients.
“Recovery doesn’t mean the virus is gone – it’s just not active,” he stressed.
Mild virus level
This research might be good news. Reported by Live Science Krys Johnson Epidemiologist Temple Public Health University said most likely after patients recovered there was little potential to transmit COVID-19. Because viruses that still roam in the body’s systems tend to be viruses that become the body’s immune response.
“If the viruses remain in the human body system, then they might not be able to be re-infected,” Johnson said. A virologist at Michigan Tech University Ebenezer Tubman said the virus survived in the body of someone who was positively exposed was a frequent case, even after the person was declared cured.
For example, Zika and Ebola viruses are known to last for months after the patient recovers.
“The drugs they use can reduce the number of copies of the virus in the patient’s body. At that time, the test will not be sensitive enough to detect the presence of a virus, “Tubman said.
Tubman further explained, after the end of antiviral treatment, the virus may have begun to replicate again at a lower level. There will not be enough virus to cause tissue damage, so the patient does not feel symptoms. But the number of viruses is still high enough so that laboratory tests can still capture its presence.
At this stage, the patient may not have the potential to transmit COVID-19 after recovery. Need more intimate contact to spread the virus. Even though this virus expert reminds to be careful about the possibility of transmission.
“They must be careful in household settings not to share drinks and make sure they wash their hands often,” he said.
At the time of this study, none of the families of patients tested positive for COVID-19. But the researchers, stressing that the patient’s family is not infected is because all samples are medical officers who understand well how to prevent transmission. So, the potential for transmission is still very possible.
This study shows that long-term monitoring of patients who are recovering and their contact is important. Viruses that persist in the body can get an immune response quite well, so they can protect the potential for COVID-19 infection again.
But immunity does not last permanently. COVID-19 may be mutating. Changes to a new version of the virus may not be recognized by the immune system and allow for exposure.
Scientists have not known COVID-19 but research on this virus is still growing.