The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said it looking into reports of some novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) patients who tested positive again after initially testing negative for the disease after treatment.
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WHO’s announcement comes after 91 patients in South Korea thought to have been cleared of Coronavirus had tested positive again. Jeong Eun-kyeong, Director of the Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told journalists on Friday that the virus may have been “reactivated” rather than the patients being re-infected.
In a statement on Saturday, WHO said it was monitoring the developments and working with clinical experts to understand the reason behind the reoccurrence of the virus in recovered patients.
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“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.
“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.
“We are aware that some patients are PCR positive after they clinically recover, but we need systematic collection of samples from recovered patients to better understand how long they shed live virus,” WHO told Reuters.
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According to the WHO’s guidelines on clinical management, a patient can be discharged from hospital after two consecutive negative results in a clinically recovered patient at least 24 hours apart, it added.
Based on current studies, there is a period of about two weeks between the onset of symptoms and clinical recovery of patients with mild COVID-19 disease, the agency said.\
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“As COVID-19 is a new disease, we need more epidemiological data to draw any conclusions of virus shedding profile,” the WHO said.
Over 100,000 persons have died from Coronavirus globally, according to the toll collated by John Hopkins University.
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