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Coronavirus May Be Reactivating?


Specializes in Education, FP, LNC, Forensics, ED, OB. Has 30 years experience.


Jeong Eun-kyeong, the director of South Korea's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warned on Monday that the coronavirus may be able to reactivate in people who have been "cured" of the disease because 51 patients tested positive for the virus after being discharged with negative results.

Patients are considered recovered when they test negative for the disease twice within a 24-hour interval. Similar worries of reactivation have scared Chinese citizens in Wuhan, many of whom ...

Read in its entirety: South Korean CDC warns coronavirus may be 'reactivating' after 51 cured patients test positive

I've seen mention of this possibility from cases in China as well. However, with a suspected false negative rate of as high as 30% on the PCR tests these could have been false negatives when the viral load was low.

Either way it is interesting that the disease course appears to have an initial recovery phase and then a relapse of varying severity in some people.

Ill be following this closely. I would really like to know how the patients with "reactivated" virus were initially tested, how they were "cleared" of the virus (by PCR? one swab? two?), how long they were "covid-free," and especially how sick they were in their first encounter with the illness.

Right now, its not clear at all what is driving these reports. It is possible that covid could readily re-infect patients (which would be terrible news, but other evidence suggests this is unlikely) or that it can quickly re-infect only a quite small percentage of outliers; it is possible that these patients were never really clear of the illness in any real way and that false negatives on PCR are to blame; it is also possible that covid may have the capacity to enter a kind of latent phase between early symptoms and development of more severe illness. Wish we had more info.

Curious1alwys, BSN, RN

Has 9 years experience.

I swear I had this about a month ago. Never know. But now getting recurring throat pain and just bad fatigue on and off since, like my body is still fighting. Makes me really wonder if that virus can lay dormant even after initial recovery and once you get run down, poof, symptoms reappear. I'm very healthy so nothing too crazy but I wonder nonetheless. And I know it could be a million other things too, in the end. Can't wait for titers one day but by then I'll have had plenty of time to catch the real thing if I haven't already. LOL

lifelearningrn, BSN, RN

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 7 years experience.

Do they become symptomatic again?