Coronavirus Patients May Carry Virus for a Week after Symptoms Have Resolved

Henrietta Strickland
April 1, 2020

And experts say fever and cough remain the most important symptoms of the virus to look out for and act upon.

In the United Kingdom, the National Health Service advises those with symptoms and living alone should remain at home for seven days after the first symptoms emerge.

A new study has uncovered how long will patients still have the coronavirus COVID-19 disease after symptoms for the virus have disappeared.

We know now that shortness of breath, headaches and sore throats can also form part of myriad symptoms, albeit in fewer patients.

Approximately 120 million people in the U.S. have cardiovascular disease, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the risk for infection will increase as the outbreak expands.

The American Academy of Otolaryngology posted on its website saying there is evidence to indicate that lost or reduced sense of smell and taste are symptoms associated with the virus.

"If you had mild respiratory symptoms from COVID-19 and were staying at home so as not to infect people, extend your quarantine for another two weeks after recovery to ensure that you don't infect other people", said corresponding and co-lead author Lixin Xie, MD, professor, College of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing.

Based on a report, about a third of patients who tested positive for the virus in South Korea, China and Italy, encountered a loss of the sense of smell. "Unfortunately, these patients do not meet current criteria for testing or self isolation".

Smell loss can be caused by many things, including swelling in the nose and sinuses (such as chronic sinusitis), head injury, and nerve disorders (such as Parkinson's disease).

The data is so compelling that British experts are pushing for anosmia to be recognised as a symptom for "hidden carriers" facilitating the rapid worldwide spread of COVID-19, the deadly pneumonia caused by the coronavirus. The virus is, however, found in large quantities in the backs of nasal passageways in infected people.

Here, the virus attacks the cells that are responsible for your sense of smell.

As with most viral anosmias, the effects are temporary and most people regain their sense of smell within four weeks.

The authors note that their study was relatively small, and larger studies are needed to further describe digestive symptoms in patients with mild COVID-19. Most will resolve spontaneously; some will require intervention and retraining of the sensory cells that are responsible for smells. Also, it's unclear at this time whether this sort of study could explain why some patients retest positive after being declared cured.

However, if you live with others and you're the first in the household to have symptoms, then you must stay at home for seven days, while all other household members (whether they are ill or not) l must not leave the house for 14 days after the symptoms first emerged in the household.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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