- South Korea reported on Friday that 91 coronavirus patients being considered for discharge were again positive for the virus.
- The director of the Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the virus may have been “reactivated” rather than re-infecting the patients.
- It remains unclear why the patients tested positive after being initially negative for COVID-19 – WHO announced on Saturday that it will investigate the reports.
- “Since COVID-19 is a new disease, we need more epidemiological data to draw conclusions,” WHO told Reuters.
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The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Saturday that it was investigating reports that patients with coronaviruses who initially tested negative tested positive for the virus a few days later.
“We are aware of these reports of individuals who tested negative for COVID-19 using PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests, and after a few days again positive,” said a spokesperson for ‘WHO to Reuters.
South Korea on Friday reported that 91 coronavirus patients they believed had recovered from the disease were again tested positive for the virus.
WHO guidelines on clinical management recommended that a clinically recovered COVID-19 patient test the virus twice, with tests performed at least 24 hours apart, before leaving the hospital.
COVID-19 patients in South Korea were being considered for discharge after a negative test for the disease – however, tests administered later showed positive results.
South Korean health officials have said they will launch epidemiological investigations to find out what is behind this trend.
Jeong Eun-kyeong, director of the Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a press briefing that the virus may have “reactivated” in patients, as opposed to reinfection of patients, Bloomberg reported.
“As we give more weight to reactivation as a possible cause, we are doing a thorough study of it,” said Jeong on Monday. “There have been many cases where a patient during treatment will be negative one day and positive another. “
The number of patients who were reportedly cleared of the coronavirus but who subsequently tested positive increased from 51 Monday to 91 Friday. Shortly after, WHO announced that it would also be examining the recent COVID-19 trend in South Korea.
“We are in close contact with our clinical experts and are working hard to get more information on these individual cases. It is important to make sure that when samples are taken for testing on suspect patients, the procedures are followed correctly, “a WHO spokesperson told Reuters. in a report.
According to the WHO, current studies show that patients with mild COVID-19 experience a period of approximately two weeks between the onset of symptoms and clinical recovery. But it remains unclear why these patients test positive after recovering from COVID-19.
“As COVID-19 is a new disease, we need more epidemiological data to draw conclusions,” added the statement.
More than 390,000 people worldwide have recovered from the coronavirus, according to data collected by John Hopkins.
Infectious disease experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, say “people who are recovering [from COVID-19] are really protected from reinfection. “
According to Morgan McFall-Johnsen of Business Insider, infected people develop antibodies that can “likely fight the coronavirus if they meet it again,” making them temporarily immune to the coronavirus. However, the term of protection is unclear, she added.
Recently, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that people recovering from the coronavirus will likely be immunized if a second wave of infection spreads in the early fall. But preliminary studies on immunity against coronaviruses show that not all recovered patients develop the antibodies necessary to protect themselves from the virus.