Study finds some could be contagious for more than 10 days
A new study by British scientists suggests that some people who test positive for COVID-19 could be contagious for longer than 10 days.
Researchers from the University of Exeter carried out the study on a group of 176 people, all of whom tested positive for the virus in standard PCR tests.
The study found that 13% of patients, or around 1 in 10, had ‘clinically relevant levels’ of the virus after 10 days, meaning they could still be infectious.
“In some settings, such as people returning to care homes after illness, people who continue to be infectious after ten days could pose a serious public health risk,” said Merlin Davies, lead author from the faculty. of Medicine from the University of Exeter.
“We may need to ensure that people in these settings have a negative active virus test to ensure that people are no longer infectious. We now want to conduct larger trials to investigate this further.”
The test used in the study only gives a positive result when the virus is active and potentially capable of “further transmission”.
In comparison, conventional PCR tests work by testing for the presence of viral fragments. The results explain that these tests can tell if a person has recently had COVID-19 but cannot determine if the virus is still active or if the person is contagious.