In a study published September 18, 2020, in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, they discuss the risk of testing positive again once you have recovered from the COVID-19 infection. Between April 21 and May 21, 2020, a total of 137 individuals who officially recovered from COVID-19 were enrolled in this study. All patients were tested for the SARS-CoV-2 virus with nucleic acid RT-PCR tests and the analysis was conducted in June 2020.
Of the 131 patients who repeated the nasopharyngeal swab, 22 patients (16.7%) tested positive again. Some symptoms such as fatigue (51%), dyspnea (44%), and coughing (17%) were still present in a significant percentage of the patients. The likelihood of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection was significantly higher among participants with persistent sore throat and symptoms of rhinitis.
This study is the first to provide a given rate of patients who test positive after recovering from COVID-19. These findings suggest that a significant proportion of patients who have recovered from COVID-19 still could be potential carriers of the virus. In particular, if patients continue to have symptoms related to COVID-19, such as sore throat and rhinitis, it is reasonable to be cautious by avoiding close contact, wearing a face mask and possibly repeating the nasopharyngeal swab.
We cannot let our guard down. We need to be aware and cautious at all times, maintain social distancing, wash our hands, avoid crowded areas, take the steps versus taking an elevator, consider having groceries delivered, and above all, stay home if possible! Stay the course, stay strong, stay well, mask up, and stay tuned!