On Saturday, April 11, 2020, The Geneva-based World Health Organization (WHO) said that it would be examining into reports of some COVID-19 patients, who were earlier recovered from the coronavirus infection, tested positive again. The news of re-occurrence of the virus-positive was reported from South Korean officials who claimed that some patients, who were initially tested negative for the disease, COVID-19 and were being considered for discharge, had been tested positive later.
Investigation of the WHO
South Korean officials reported on Friday that as much as 91 patients, who were already recovered from the treatments, had been tested positive again. Jeong Eun-kyeong, the Director of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told in a press briefing that it was the condition of the “reactivation” of the virus rather than the patients being re-infected.
Following the Seoul’s report, the WHO told Reuters in a brief statement, “We are aware of these reports of individuals who have tested negative for COVID-19 using PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing and then after some days testing positive again. The international health organization added, “We are closely liaising with our clinical experts and working hard to get more information on those individual cases. It is important to make sure that when samples are collected for testing on suspected patients, procedures are followed properly.”
According to the WHO’s guidelines on clinical management, the discharge process of a patient from a hospital is done after the patient is confirmed two consecutive negative results in a clinically recovered patient at least 24 hours apart.
Reasons Are yet Unknown
According to the international health agency, based on current studies, a period of about two weeks require to understand the process from the beginning of symptoms and the final clinical recovery of patients with mild COVID-19 disease.
Meanwhile, the agency stated, “We are aware that some patients are PCR positive after they clinically recover, but we need a systematic collection of samples from recovered patients to better understand how long they shed the live virus.” The WHO added, “As COVID-19 is a new disease, we need more epidemiological data to draw any conclusions of virus shedding profile.”
Similarly, South Korean health officials said on Friday that the reasons for the reactivation of the disease were still yet unknown and the epidemiological investigations were still underway. Till Friday, the death toll from the virus outbreak has reached above 100,000 and the number of the virus-infected cases were reported crossing 1.6 million people worldwide.
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