As we are hearing COVID-19 patients getting their tests positive around the world which sparked new stress amongst everyone. As we all heard that a recovered COVID-19 patient develops enough immunity that they can’t be affected by the virus again anytime soon. Very recently, we have started hearing about people who recovered but are getting infected again. Faisal Edhi, a famous name himself, was tested positive twice for the virus. Various reasons can contribute to this fact. Confusing, isn’t it? Here’s what we found about it!
What Can Be The Possible Reasons?
Researchers have been saying time and time again: the virus is new and there is only a little anyone can predict about it. After a number of researches, medical experts were able to come up with just a couple of explanations as to why exactly recovered patients are being tested positive again.
A report on a similar topic given by researchers mentioned how it could be the testing kits that are responsible for inaccurate positive results. The kits might not be efficient enough in telling a patient with an active virus and a recently recovered person apart. As the test is supposed to only detect the presence of the corona genetic material in the body, it cannot tell if that material is active or dead. The recovered patients still have the virus’s lingering material in their bodies and they can test positive a second time as well.
Virus litter is a term used by some medical experts to address the remains of the dead virus inside a recovered person’s body. These remains can still be found in a recovered patient’s lungs and can often be coughed up into the throat from where the test samples are taken. As this sample is later tested, the results come out positive as the diagnosis is not yet able to differentiate between dead and active virus.
“We are aware that some patients test COVID-19 positive after they clinically recover, from what we currently know, and this is based on very recent data: it seems they these patients are expelling leftover materials from their lungs, as part of the recovery phase.
“People infected with the new coronavirus build up antibodies starting a week or so after infection or the onset of symptoms,” stated a WHO representative on this matter.
Is It Actually The Virus Again?
Another explanation given by medical experts states that the amount of virus present inside a patient’s body can vary. For example, a patient who is currently undergoing treatment for COVID-19 gets tested again when the doctors saw potential recovery and the test came out negative.
This person later starts to experience the symptoms of the infection all over again and is tested positive once more. At the time when the result came out negative, the amount of the virus in the body dropped to a level that the test could not pick up. But as it spiked because the treatment was stopped, the test results came out positive.
The patient had never really recovered, the virus was still present in the body, replicated when nothing was being done to eliminate it.
Some viruses are known to behave like this. They become dormant, asymptomatic while still actively occupying a place inside one’s body. This is found to be more common in infections such as herpes simplex virus.
A Word From Marham
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Javeria Adil Chughtai
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