Discharged patients test positive again


BEIJING: About 14% of cured Covid-19 patients in Guangdong province tested positive for the virus again after being discharged from the hospital and were put under medical observation.

Song Tie, deputy director of Guangdong Provincial Center of Disease Control and Prevention, made the remarks at a news conference in Guangzhou on Tuesday.

A total of 841 of the 1,347 confirmed Covid-19 patients were cured and discharged from hospitals in Guangdong by Tuesday.

After a person is infected by a virus, that person’s body will create antibodies that prevent the virus in that person from being contagious.

Young patients with mild conditions may form antibodies in as little as two weeks. Even if they test positive, the risk of being contagious is low, Song said.

But in some elderly patients, it takes longer to form antibodies, he said. He added that these patients continue to discharge virulence and may be contagious.

Cases of cured patients testing positive again are attributable to the condition of their disease and their physical quality, which could lead to incomplete healing of lung inflammation, Song said.

Inflamed lungs take a relatively long time to fully recover possibly two to three months, he said.

The Guangdong provincial authority called for improved follow-up on discharged Covid-19 patients, who are required to stay under medical observation for 14 days after they leave the hospital.After that, if a person has antibodies and tests negative, he or she can return to society, Song said.

“Novel coronavirus pneumonia is a new transmissible disease. We continue to learn about it during treatment and control of the disease and issue new treatment and control plans” accordingly, he said.

“Be assured that our patients will come out healthy and that we are able to protect the public, the patients’ families and people with close contact with them,” he said.

Research is being conducted by Song’s center and a team led by Zhong Nanshan, an expert in respiratory diseases and one of the leading specialists tackling the outbreak. — China Daily/ANN

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