Fears Coronavirus Can Reactivate As 51 Recovered Patients Test Positive AGAIN
According to reports, 51 recovered patients in South Korea have tested positive for coronavirus for a second time.
They are all from the city of Daegu and had spent time in quarantine while recovering, but were diagnosed again within days of being released.
South Korea has been one of the best countries to deal with the coronavirus, taking strict measures in addition to meticulous testing of its population.
The country’s cases are at a record low, now close to this at the beginning of February when the crisis had not exploded yet.
The 51 patients were included as part of a study made in Daegu, which is at the center of South Korea’s outbreak, by a group of epidemiologists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Strangely, the scientists say the patients had not been reinfected but the virus remained in their bodies at undetectable levels, and later reactivated.
This runs contrary to hopes of immunity after infection.
According to Paul Hunter, an infectious diseases professor at the University of East Anglia:
“I agree that these will not be reinfections but I do not think these will be reactivations.
“Personally I think the most likely explanation is that the clearance samples were false negative,” he told the Daily Mail
For patients to be permitted to exit quarantine, they normally need to test negative twice.
When this happens and they are later found to be infected again it is believed to likely be due to faulty tests.
With the current tests being used one in five can come out wrong.
At the moment it is widely believed that when one person is infected and goes through it, they will automatically build immunity for at least the near future.
Scientists see cases of twice infected patients as seriously worrying.
However, a lot more evidence is needed to draw solid conclusions on this situation.
According to Mark Harris, Professor of Virology at the University of Leeds:
“Clearly we need more information about these patients, such as were there underlying medical conditions or a change in circumstances that might have allowed the virus to escape immune control?
“This highlights the need for more research into the biology of the new coronavirus.
“It is very much early days in our efforts to understand it,” he said in February.
At the moment there are more than 50,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in the United Kingdom. 5,373 people have thus far died.
Last Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson was rushed into intensive care as his COVID-19 symptoms worsened dramatically. He tested positive for coronavirus in mid-March and was eventually brought to London’s St Thomas’ Hospital on Sunday after his fever did not seem to go down for more than ten days.
On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump expressed his best wishes and readiness to help Johnson.
“I was very sad to hear he was taken into ICU,” he said.
“Americans are all praying for his recovery.
“When you get taken in intensive care it gets very very serious.
“He’s been a really good friend, something very special: strong, resolute, doesn’t quit, doesn’t give up.”
“We’ll see if we can be of help.
“We contacted all of Boris’s doctors, and we’ll see what is going to take place.”
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