Patients with coronavirus may be contagious for more than 5 weeks

A new study in China showed that patients with the coronavirus can remain infectious for 37 days, is more than three weeks longer than the 14-day isolation period recommended by medical professionals worldwide.

According to an article published on Wednesday, March 11, in the medical journal Lancet, Chinese scientists investigated respiratory samples from nearly 200 patients, including 54 who died from this disease, and found that COVID-19 was found on average within 20 days.

This has important implications for decision-making about the isolation of patients and management regarding the duration of antiviral treatment, “wrote the authors of the report.

The obtained data are further evidence that experts in the field of health around the world are still trying to understand how this virus spreads and what exactly can be done to prevent it.

The US centers for control and prevention of diseases are among the many healthcare institutions that recommend at least 14 days of self-isolation for those who have been exposed to every person infected with COVID-19.

The samples used in the study were taken from patients that were infected and received treatment in December and January in Wuhan the Chinese city, where the outbreak started. The researchers also found that about half of these patients had some kind of background disease — the most common of which were hypertension, diabetes and coronary heart disease.

According to the world health organization, as of Thursday morning, March 12, COVID-19 killed more than 4,000 people and infected about 120,000 people.


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