Coronavirus could live in the body for 5 weeks, study finds

After learning possibly how long the novel coronavirus can survive on surfaces, researchers now have an idea of how long the virus lives inside the bodies of those infected by it.

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Researchers in China studied data from some 191 COVID-19 patients, including 54 who died, who were treated at Jinyintan Hospital and Wuhan Pulmonary Hospital.

They concluded that the virus’s RNA can live in a patient’s body an average of 20 days, but up to 37 days, or about 5 weeks. Currently, those infected with the virus have been recommended to remain in self-isolation for 14 days, a period of time that has been said to be the incubation period for the virus.

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“In the current study, we found that the detectable SARS-CoV-2 RNA persisted for a median of 20 days in survivors and that it was sustained until death in non-survivors,” the study’s authors wrote in the study, which was published earlier this week in the medical journal The Lancet.

For comparison, “viral RNA was detected in respiratory specimens from about a third of patients as long as 4 weeks after disease onset,” for about a third of patients during the SARS outbreak in the early 2000s. And for those infected with the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), “the duration of MERS-CoV RNA detection in lower respiratory specimens persisted for at least 3 weeks,” they added.

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The researchers noted that the finding “has important implications for both patient isolation decision making and guidance around the length of antiviral treatment.”

Source: http://feeds.foxnews.com/~r/foxnews/health/~3/Grkmi-a-cmQ/coronavirus-could-live-in-the-body-for-5-weeks-study-finds

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