'Dead' coronavirus particles cause recovered patients to test positive

South Korean health officials say recovered coronavirus patients may test positive to the virus for a second time due to "dead particles" in their system.

'Dead' coronavirus particles cause recovered patients to test positive

South Korean health officials say recovered coronavirus patients may test positive to the virus for a second time due to "dead particles" in their system.

The Korea Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said 292 people in the country who were cleared of the deadly virus, later tested positive with officials originally thinking this was due to reinfection.

Now, it has been discovered that residual fragments of the virus are likely responsible.

"RNA fragments still can exist in a cell even if the virus is inactivated," Oh Myoung-don from the Korea Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, told The New York Post.

"It is more likely that those who tested positive again picked up virus RNA that has already been inactivated."

Second-time diagnoses in South Korea continue to steadily rise – two weeks ago, repeat diagnoses accounted for 2 per cent of the country's recovered patients.

This week, the figure had risen to 2.7 per cent and 3.4 per cent among child patients.

The Korea Centre for Disease Control and Prevention says patients on average re-test positive 13.5 days after being cleared and discharged from quarantine – however, the time spanned up to 35 days.

"Contact tracing on these re-positive cases is also underway to identify the possibility of secondary infection," the KCDCP said.

"No new case has yet been confirmed that resulted from exposure to the re-positive cases. The contracts are still under monitoring."

Scientists studied 137 of the initial cases and reported 61 of the patients showed mild symptoms, 72 were asymptomatic and four others were still being studied.

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Source : 9 News More