In a recent study, the researchers have suggested that people who show severe COVID-19 infection might shed the virus and hence be infectious for as long as 20 days.
It showed that the infection does not last for more than 9 days in people with mild or no symptoms of the virus.
The study is published in the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. A dozen studies were reviewed by researchers at Oregon Health and Science University and Oregon State University suggests that people may shed virus for prolonged periods.
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided this information in line with the guidance, and recommendations were confirmed for the length of time so that people isolate the following infection with SARS-CoV-2.
According to the authors, “Detection of viral RNA may not correlate with infectivity since available viral culture data suggests shorter durations of shedding of viable virus.” “Additional data is needed to determine the duration of shedding of viable virus and the implications for risk of transmission.”
Co-author Monica Sikka, MD, assistant professor of medicine (infectious diseases) in the OHSU School of Medicine said, researchers have decided to conduct the review to gain more information on transmission and to help inform infection control practices.
“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,” Sikka said.
There were 77 studies worldwide that were identified by the researchers, including 59 that had been peer-reviewed, and combed through the results.
“Although PCR positivity can be prolonged, culture data suggest that virus viability is typically shorter in duration,” the authors added.
All of them reported assessments of viral shedding using standard methods to recognize the virus by replicating it by a process called a polymerase chain reaction, or PCR