A follow-up study shows that recovered patients with re-positive PCR test in Wuhan may not be infectious

Xiaomin Wu, Zengmiao Wang, Zhenyu He, Yapin Li, Yating Wu, Huaiji Wang, Yonghong Liu, Fanghua Hao, Huaiyu Tian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Previous studies showed that recovered coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients can have a subsequent positive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) after they are discharged from the hospital. Understanding the epidemiological characteristics of recovered COVID-19 patients who have a re-positive test is vital for preventing a second wave of COVID-19. Methods: This retrospective study analyzed the epidemiological and clinical features of 20,280 COVID-19 patients from multiple centers in Wuhan who had a positive PCR test between December 31, 2019, and August 4, 2020. The RT-PCR test results for 4079 individuals who had close contact with the re-positive cases were also obtained. Results: In total, 2466 (12.16%) of the 20,280 patients had a re-positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR test after they were discharged from the hospital, and 4079 individuals had close contact with members of this patient group. All of these 4079 individuals had a negative SARS-CoV-2 PCR test. Conclusions: This retrospective study in Wuhan analyzed the basic characteristics of recovered COVID-19 patients with re-positive PCR test and found that these cases may not be infectious.

Original languageEnglish
Article number77
JournalBMC Medicine
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Close contact
  • Repeat positive
  • Subsequent infection

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