LondonAccording to a study, after a 10-day quarantine period, one in ten people may still be infectious to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
The research, recently published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases, used a newly adapted test that could detect whether the virus was potentially still active.
The test was implemented in UK’s Exeter on samples of 176 people who tested positive on standard PCR tests.
The team, led by researchers from the University of Exeter, found that 13 percent of people still exhibited clinically-relevant levels of the virus after 10 days, meaning they could potentially still be infectious.
The researchers found that some people maintained these levels for as long as 68 days.
He believes this new test should be implemented in settings where people are vulnerable, in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Professor Lorna Harris, from the University of Exeter Medical School, said, “Although this is a relatively small study, our results suggest that potentially active viruses can sometimes persist after a period of up to 10 days, and further transmission.” could pose a potential risk of supervised the study.
“Furthermore, there was nothing clinically remarkable about these people, which means we wouldn’t be able to predict who they are,” Harris said.
Conventional PCR tests work by testing for the presence of viral fragments.
While these tests can tell whether someone has recently had the virus, they cannot detect whether it is still active, and the person is contagious.
However, the test used in the latest study gives a positive result only if the virus is active and potentially capable of further transmission.
“In some settings, such as people returning to homes after illness, staying contagious even after ten days can pose a serious public health risk,” said study lead author Marilyn Davis from the University of Exeter Medical School.
“We may need to make sure that people in those settings have a negative active virus test to make sure people are no longer contagious,” Davis said.
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