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Just how bad your case of covid-19 might depend on the severity of the infection. While you can recover from an asymptomatic or mild infection at home, a more severe infection might require hospitalisation—and can lead to serious complications.
In fact, researchers also suggest that people who have a severe case of covid-19 might be infectious for as long as 20 days. On the other hand, whereas, the infection does not last for more than 9 days in people with mild or no symptoms of the virus.
You see, a review of dozens of studies, which was published in the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, suggests that people may shed virus for prolonged periods.
This is what the findings indicate
“Detection of viral RNA may not correlate with infectivity since available viral culture data suggests shorter durations of shedding of viable virus,” say the authors from the Oregon Health and Science University and Oregon State University.
“Additional data is needed to determine the duration of shedding of viable virus and the implications for risk of transmission,” they added.
“Even though people can shed virus for a prolonged period of time, the studies we reviewed indicated that live virus, which may predict infectiousness, was only detected up to nine days in people who had mild symptoms,” said study co-author Monica Sikka, MD, assistant professor of medicine (infectious diseases) in the OHSU School of Medicine.
The researchers identified 77 studies worldwide, including 59 that had been peer-reviewed, and combed through the results. All studies reported assessments of viral shedding using standard methods to identify the virus by replicating it through a process called a polymerase chain reaction, or PCR.
“Although PCR positivity can be prolonged, culture data suggest that virus viability is typically shorter in duration,” the authors added.