CASPER, Wyo — A report from the Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) published on May 19 suggests that people who re-test positive for the COVID-19 virus aren’t actively infected or at risk of spreading the virus to contacts.
On April 14, the KCDC began monitoring 285 patients who had previously recovered from the coronavirus and had been discharged from isolation, but who had tested positive again. 44.7% had presented symptoms such as cough or sore throat. KCDC monitored these “re-positive” patients and 790 of their contacts, including family and co-workers.
“From the monitoring of contacts, as of [May 18], no case has been found that was newly confirmed from exposure during re-positive period alone,” the KCDC report states. In other words, no new infections have been confirmed as a result of being in contact with someone who has re-tested positive after recovery and isolation.
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25 of the 790 contacts have tested positive for COVID-19, but those were previously confirmed cases and not believed to be a result of contact with with the recovered cases. 3 additional newly-positive cases among the contacts were all found to have had a history of contact with Shincheonji religious group or a confirmed new case in their family.
Lab analysis was conducted on 108 of the 285 re-positive cases. According to the KCDC, virus isolation in cell cultures of respiratory samples of 108 re-positive cases, all results were negative (i.e. virus not isolated).
Of the 23 re-positive cases from which the first and the second serum samples were obtained, 96% were positive for neutralizing antibodies. ELISA and rapid serology tests for COVID-19 identify antibodies that develop in reaction to COVID-19, rather than the virus itself.
Sciencenews.org suggests that re-positive results may be picking up genetic information from dead or non-infectious viruses.
The Latest Statistics from the Wyoming Department of Health:
What to do if you are feeling sick: In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department says that people who are feeling sick or exhibiting symptoms should contact their primary physician.
If you do not have a primary care provider, and live in Natrona County, please contact the COVID-19 hotline, operated by the Casper-Natrona County Department of Health. The line is open Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm 577-9892. Hotline services are intended for Natrona County residents and may not be able to provide specific information to persons calling from out of county.
Officials ask that you please do not self-report to the Emergency Room. Persons experiencing problems breathing should call 9-11.
For general inquiries and non-symptom related questions about COVID-19, please contact the Casper-Natrona County Health Department via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Practice Social Distancing by putting distance between yourself and other people. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Stay home if you’re sick
- Cover coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
A list of area closures attributed to COVID-19 are available here.