Recovered Chinese coronavirus patients test positive again

Researchers worldwide have been contemplating the possibilities of recurrence after recovery.

By Aaron Sull, Word Israel News

The coronavirus may be even more deadly than originally thought.

The South China Morning Post reported earlier this week that somewhere between 3-10 percent of recovered Chinese coronavirus victims have tested positive again for the disease.

According to the report, 3 percent of the cases happened in Wuhan, where the coronavirus first broke out, and the other incidents occurred in southern China.

Dr. Wang Wei, director of Wuhans’s Tongji Hospital, said the sample size is too small to make a definite conclusion on recurrence susceptibility.

Wei also suggested that these patients never actually recovered.

“It’s possible that these recovered patients tested negative before because of false results,” he said. ‘The accuracy of a nucleic acid test is 30 to 50 percent.”

Researchers worldwide have been contemplating the possibilities of recurrence after recovery.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the immune system should prevent reinfection, but it is not yet clear if that will actually be the case.

“Patients with MERS-CoV infection are unlikely to be reinfected shortly after they recover, but it is not yet known whether similar immune protection will be observed for patients with COVID-19,” the CDC website says.

Dr. Keiji Fukuda, director of Hong Kong University’s School of Public Health, said the possibility of recurrence after recovery should be low.

“If you get an infection, your immune system is revved up against that virus,” Fukuda told The LA Times earlier this month.

“To get reinfected again when you’re in that situation would be quite unusual unless your immune system was not functioning right,” Fukuda said.

However, others are less optimistic.

A recent study rerported by CBS this month found that the coronavirus can lay dormant in the body for weeks after recovery.

Dr. David Agus, a medical contributor to the network, said the study should be taken with a grain of salt.

“I would be very cautious to use these data to quantify periods of being infectious. This information has yet to be determined definitively,” he said.

Since the outbreak of the deadly disease, roughly over people, 730,000 people across the globe have become infected and nearly 35,000 people have died because of it.