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Nearly 1 in every 6 fully recovered COVID-19 patients still test positive for the virus

PHOTO CREDITS: THE WASHINGTON POST

Research conducted in Italy revealed that about 17% of the patients who’ve had complete recovery from the coronavirus infection remain positive for the virus in follow-up doctor’s visits.

While countries all over the world strive to reduce the severity of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study has reported that about 1 in every 6 COVID-19 patients still test positive for the disease, despite their full recovery. The study was conducted by researchers from Agostino Gemelli University Polyclinic in Rome, Italy. The findings of the study point out that as many as 17% of the recovered patients who’ve contracted the virus may still carry the disease unknowingly. 

According to StudyFinds, the researchers observed 131 COVID-19 patients who all followed the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidelines for ending quarantine after the infection. According to the guidelines, a patient must be fever-free without the help of medications for three consecutive days and must also have an improvement in their symptoms and test negative for the virus twice at least 24 hours apart. The team kept records of the patients to see how their bodies were reacting after treatment and quarantine. While executing the WHO’s standards for recovering COVID-19 patients, out of the 131 patients, 22 of them (about 16.7%) tested positive for the virus during their follow-up screenings. “Our findings indicate that a noteworthy rate of patients with COVID-19 could still be asymptomatic carriers of the virus” said Francesco Landi, the lead investigator of the study.

The researchers noted that patients still dealing with sore throats and stuffy noses were more likely to test positive again, although none of them experienced fever and most reported improved health conditions. Symptoms like fatigue (51%), difficulty in breathing (44%) and coughing (17%) were not reported by a large part of the group. However, sore throats (18% versus 4%) and rhinitis (27% versus 2%) were shown by a larger portion of COVID-19 positive patients than negative patients. The findings also showed no notable difference between the age and gender of the patients with the test results. 

ARTICLE : LIDIYA SHILU

SCIENCE/HEALTH EDITOR: KYLE SMITH

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