South Korean health officials said recovered Covid-19 patients who later tested positive again most likely because “dead” virus fragments remained in their bodies and not because they became reinfected again.
A total of 277 people in the country who were cleared of the deadly virus later tested positive for Covid-19 again. This phenomenon initially puzzled the health officials, the Korea Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said.
However, they’ve now determined that residual fragments of the virus are most likely the cause.
“RNA fragments still can exist in a cell even if the virus is inactivated,” said Oh Myoung-don, who heads the KCDC’s clinical committee for emerging disease control, Newsweek said.
“It is more likely that those who tested positive again picked up virus RNA that has already been inactivated.”
The committee further said it is virtually impossible for the virus to be reactivated unless Covid-19 causes chronic infection.
“The Covid-19 virus does not invade inside of the cell nucleus and combine with a patient’s DNA,” Oh said. “It means that the virus does not create chronic infection.”
The country reported nine more cases of Covid-19 today, bringing the nation’s total infections to 10,761, the KCDC said.
It marked the 11th day in a row that the number of new infections stayed at 15 or below.