KEY POINTS

  • COVID-19 survivors still contagious post-symptom recovery, study says
  • Patients could still carry virus for up to 8 days following symptom recovery
  • CDC: extend self-isolation for 2 weeks
  • Study more is results are same for elderly, immuncompromised

Researchers discovered that COVID-19 patients could still be contagious for up to eight days after they have recovered from symptoms.

In a study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, half of the patients who have recovered from the coronavirus symptoms were still carriers of the virus and would maintain that status for an average of two and a half days post-symptom recovery, although there were individual cases that ranged up to eight days, the New York Post reported.

Researchers studied 16 patients with mild cases of the bug who were admitted to the Treatment Center of PLA General Hospital in Beijing between Jan. 28 and Feb. 9.

“The most significant finding from our study is that half of the patients kept shedding the virus even after resolution of their symptoms,” co-author Dr. Lokesh Sharma from the Yale School of Medicine said in a statement.

Researchers cited other studies stating that carriers could still infect others.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently advises people who are experiencing COVID-10-like symptoms to isolate themselves for at least three days after the "resolution of a fever without fever-reducing medications."

“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,” said co-author Dr. Lixin Xie of the Chinese PLA General Hospital in a statement.

However, researchers said that more studies were necessary given the limited scope of the report, therefore, it is unclear whether the same results would be identified with an older population or among immunocompromised individuals.

Coronavirus in children According to a pediatrician, it was possible that most children already have coronavirus, and that they may be serving as vectors of the disease. Photo: David Veksler - Unsplash