COVID-19: Can a person who has retested positive infect others?
Research proves that there is no evidence so far of a person who has retested positive being infectious.
KCDC deputy director Kwon Joon-wook says,’At the moment, we think that there is no danger of further secondary or tertiary transmission’.
That’s also a concern weighing on the minds of people in the US and around the world.
Responding to a question about patients retesting positive at the CNN Town Hall on Thursday night, Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said the jury was still out on whether a person who had recovered could still shed infectious RNA strands.
“That’s a question that’s still outstanding — it hasn’t been answered in the studies to date, although people are really working on that now and culturing the virus and seeing if that potential exists,” she added.
After coronavirus patients are declared recovered, the KCDC recomends two more weeks of self-isolation.
In an article published in BMJ medical journal this week, Sung-Il Cho, a professor of epidemiology at the Seoul National University Graduate School of Public Health, also advised discharged patients to remain isolated or quarantined for a while to make sure there’s no re-detection of the virus.
What does this mean for antibodies?
When a person is recovering from a virus, their body produces antibodies.
Antibodies are important because they can prevent a person from being reinfected with the same virus, as the body already knows how to fight the disease.
The number of recovered patients who have retested positive for the virus has raised concerns about how antibodies work in response to Covid-19
When asked Thursday whether it was possible for someone to get reinfected, Birx replied: “In biology, you never want to say that that’s not possible.”
She said they had seen coronavirus patients appear to recover and develop antibodies, but there was always the possibility of outliers who did not develop antibodies to the virus. “Those outliers always exist, but right now we don’t have (any) evidence that that’s a common thing that we see,” she said.
The KCDC plans to test 400 specimens from people who have been infected and recovered to see how much — if any — immunity having Covid-19 might give people. Kwon says those tests may take several weeks.
In the end, Kwon said, it comes down to this: “We don’t know much about Covid-19.”