In a recent study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers uncovered that close to 17 percent of patients purported to be fully recovered from COVID-19, test positive again in follow-up examinations.
“Clinicians and researchers have focused on the acute phase of COVID-19, but continued monitoring after discharge for long-lasting effects is needed,” said the study’s lead researcher, in a news release.
The new research involved 131 patients who met the criteria to be discontinued from quarantine. Reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) testing was administered as part of post-care admission.
“Demographic, medical, and clinical information was collected, with an emphasis on the persistence of symptoms and signs related to COVID-19 such as cough, fatigue, diarrhea, headache, smelling disorders, loss of appetite, sore throat, and rhinitis,” the co-authors stated in their news release.
The findings concluded that nearly 17 percent of the patients who recovered had tested positive for COVID-19 again.
“Our findings indicate that a noteworthy rate of recovered patients with COVID-19 could still be asymptomatic carriers of the virus,” the study’s lead researcher stated in the release.
“The main question for the containment of SARS-CoV-2 pandemic infection that still needs to be answered is whether persistent presence of virus fragments means the patients is still contagious.”
“The RT-PCR test looks for small fragments of viral RNA. A positive swab test can reveal if patients are still shedding viral fragments, but it is not able to discern whether they are or aren’t infectious.”