Last month, there was a rather worrying report that suggested that patients who had seemingly recovered from the COVID-19 viral infection continued to test positive for the virus. This suggested that these patients might have been reinfected, and that they could then pass the virus onto others.
Now according to scientists from the Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the good news is that they’re starting to find more evidence that this is not the case. Instead, the researchers have found that the reason for these recovered patients to test positive again is simply due to dead virus particles that are still left in the patients’ system.
This more or less echoes another report from earlier this month that suggested that the PCR tests used to check for infections could not distinguish between dead and viable virus particles, meaning that even if there are dead particles in the patient’s system, it would still count as them having the virus.
These new findings are now suggesting that patients who recover are no longer infectious, which could be good news for countries who are considering reopening up and easing lockdowns and restrictions. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the problem has been solved, but it is good news all the same. In the meantime, we’re seeing how companies like Moderna are seeing success in their vaccine trials, where the company seems to be optimistic that a vaccine could be available for the public as early as January 2021.