Post-COVID Viral Transmission Rare, Even With Positive Test
FRIDAY April 23, 2021 (HealthDay News) – Isolated NBA players who recovered from COVID-19 but still tested positive for the virus did not infect others after leaving isolation, news shows study.
The fact that a person who has had COVID could infect others has been a lingering fear, but these findings from professional basketball league suggest that many who recover may reconnect with others without spread the virus, researchers said.
“Reinfection with COVID-19 is possible, especially now with new variants, and every positive test should be taken seriously,” said Christina Mack, IQVIA principal investigator, Real World Solutions in Durham, North Carolina.
This 2020 study, however, showed that sensitive tests such as RT-PCR can continue to give a positive result after people have recovered from COVID. As part of the NBA campus, however, these people weren’t contagious, Mack said.
To end the 2019-20 season, the NBA set up a “bubble” in Orlando, Florida – a closed campus governed by scientific protocols to guard against COVID-19.
More than 3,500 people lived on campus and were subject to its protocols. All underwent daily RT-PCR tests. Some had recovered from a previous COVID infection.
“These recovered individuals were not sick and were not observed to be infectious to others, but rather were shedding virus particles at a low level left over from their previous infection,” Mack said.
“We observed that individuals could test positive for up to 118 days after the onset of infection, and that, again, many of these individuals had tested negative on most of the days surrounding their positive test (s).” , she said.
Of the participants, 1% had a persistent virus, most were under 30 and were male. Antibodies were found in 92% of these persistent cases and all were asymptomatic. These people have been monitored and there has been no transmission of the virus to others, the researchers reported.
Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, was not part of the study, but reviewed the results.
“The results of the study support the hypothesis that asymptomatic people who have [U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] the criteria for ending isolation, but which still have positive RT-PCR test results, do not appear to be contagious to others, ”he said.
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