South Korean health authorities raised new issues about the novel coronavirus after reporting in April that dozens of sufferers who had recovered from the illness later tested positive again.
The findings suggested that some individuals who survived COVID-19 could become reinfected with the virus that causes it, potentially complicating efforts to lift quarantine bans and to find a vaccine.
But after weeks of research, they now say that such test outcomes appear to be false positives attributable to lingering – but doubtless not infectious – bits of the virus.
South Korea had reported over 350 such infections as of Wednesday, based on the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).
As more and more South Koreans had been released from therapy for COVID-19, authorities found a disturbing trend. Some ostensibly cured sufferers had been later testing positive once more.
South Korea makes use of reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assessments, which detect the coronavirus’s genetic material.
The RT-PCR course can shortly return outcomes and is taken into account, essentially the correct solution to discovering out if an affected person is contaminated with the coronavirus.
However, in some instances, the assessments might detect previous particles of the virus, which can not pose a major menace to the affected person or others, stated Seol Dai-wu, knowledgeable in vaccine improvement at Seoul’s Chung-Ang College.
This so-called false optimistic result’s doubtless behind the instances of recovered sufferers testing optimistic once more, the KCDC says.
Authorities are nonetheless gathering proof to assist their idea that the particles are from “dead” virus cells, KCDC director Jeong Eun-kyeong stated on Wednesday.