COVID-19 may not look severe as it was earlier but that doesn’t mean its end is near. This is a pandemic situation that would leave a long-term impact on our health and lifestyle. Some people are recovering from it while others are getting infected and the cycle continues. But a new study has suggested that people who are severely infected may have the virus for up to 20 days. This is comparatively longer than the patients with a mild infection.
The severe impact of serious COVID-19 infection
There are different types of coronavirus infections- asymptomatic, mild and severe. While asymptomatic patients can recover on their own through home isolation, mild patients may need medication and severely-infected patients require hospitalisation. A study has found that those with a serious infection can remain infected for about 3 weeks.
On the other hand, those with a mild infection may not have the virus after 10 days. These findings have been published in the journal ‘Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology’.
What have the researchers found?
This study was conducted by a team of researchers from the Oregon Health and Science University and Oregon State University. According to them, “Detection of viral RNA may not correlate with infectivity since available viral culture data suggests shorter durations of shedding of viable virus. Additional data is needed to determine the duration of shedding of viable virus and the implications for risk of transmission.”
Co-author of the research Monica Sikka who is an assistant professor of medicine (infectious diseases) in the OHSU School of Medicine says, “Even though people can shed virus for a prolonged period of time, the studies we reviewed indicated that live virus, which may predict infectiousness, was only detected up to nine days in people who had mild symptoms.” They should gargle with mouthwash multiple times to prevent spreading of the virus.
These results were extracted after reviewing around 80 studies done on viral shedding. It can help in preventing the transmission of infection from severely infected people to healthy people. Since the infected people would know the estimated time of carrying the virus, they can prevent themselves from coming in contact with others.
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