Chinese woman, 68, tests Covid-19 positive after recovering in February
A 68-year-old Chinese woman has tested positive for Covid-19 six months after she recovered from the disease, health authorities said here Wednesday.Updated: Aug 12, 2020 18:25 IST
A 68-year-old Chinese woman has tested positive for Covid-19 six months after she recovered from the disease, health authorities said here Wednesday.
The second – and rare late -- resurgence of the virulent virus in a cured and discharged patient in China raises questions about the time it could take to eliminate the pathogen from the body.
The woman’s case was reported from the Jingzhou area of central China’s Hubei province.
The virus first emerged late last year in the provincial capital, Wuhan, before spreading across China and then globally.
The patient, who was not identified, had been infected early during the outbreak in China but recovered and was discharged from the hospital in February.
But she tested positive again on August 9 following tests after she showed symptoms.
The elderly patient was quarantined, and her close contacts have tested negative for the virus, the health authorities said.
A virologist told Chinese state media that the rare case shows it probably takes a long time to eliminate the coronavirus from the human body, but asserted that people who tested positive again after recovering from Covid-19 are not infectious.
The virologist cited scientific studies to say that “re-positive” Covid-19 patients are not infectious.
The density of the virus inside this specific patient’s body was low, which may explain why she had tested negative in the first place, Yang Zhanqiu, deputy director of the pathogen biology department at Wuhan University, told the state-controlled tabloid Global Times.
A survey conducted by Wuhan’s Zhongnan hospital last week said 90 percent of a sample group of recovered patients reported lung damage and five percent of them had to be again quarantined after testing positive for the virus.
A team at the Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University led by Peng Zhiyong, director of the hospital’s ICU has been conducting follow-up visits with ‘100 recovered patients’ ..
The results also showed that antibodies against the novel coronavirus in 10 per cent of the 100 patients have disappeared.
Five per cent of them received negative results in Covid-19 nucleic acid tests but positive results in Immunoglobulin M (IgM) tests, and thus have to be quarantined again, the report said.
The patients also suffered depression and a sense of stigma. Most of the recovered patients told the team that their families were not willing to have dinner with them at the same table, the report said.
China has brought the spread of the pandemic under control but is still tackling new smaller cluster infections in different cities and imported cases of Covid-19.
The coronavirus was found on the outer packaging of frozen shrimps bought by a restaurant in Wuhu city in Anhui province during a routine inspection by local authorities, CCTV, China’s state television, reported.
The news broke a day after a port city in eastern China’s Shandong province said it found the virus on the packaging of imported frozen seafood although it did not say where the seafood consignment originated.
The Hubei province has reported a total of 68138 Covid-19 cases, the most in China and the disease has claimed 4512 lives in the province.
China’s national health commission (NHC) on Wednesday said that it received reports of 25 new confirmed Covid-19 cases on the Chinese mainland Tuesday, including 16 imported cases and nine domestically transmitted ones.
China has so far reported 84737 cases and 4634 deaths from the disease.