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Korean Study Suggests You’re Not Infectious After Covid-19 Recovery

Exciting News

The South Korean Center for Disease Control (KCDC) announced this week that people who tested positive for Covid-19 and survived are no longer infectious.  Once recovered, even if they test positive for the virus again, they are not able to pass it on.  The KCDC stated that 285 patients who retested positive after recovery were studied and there were no new cases found among almost 800 of their closest contacts.  They concluded that Covid-19 survivors do not have to be quarantined after recovery as they are no longer contagious.  

Why Did They Test Positive Again?

Simply put, once a virus has been killed by the immune system, there are a lot of dead viral cells (fragments) remaining that have to be removed by the body.  These fragments cause a positive reaction when using PCR testing (polymerase chain reaction) which is what the South Koreans used.  PCR cannot distinguish between the genetic material of infectious viral particles and non-infectious viral particles, so the fragments caused a positive test.

Why is this great news?

It gives credence to the probability of herd immunity occurring.  By definition, herd immunity is a form of indirect protection from infectious disease that occurs when a large percentage of a population becomes immune to an infection because large numbers of the population have been exposed and are no longer contagious.  As less and less people can give the disease to others, less people become infected until the disease is eradicated.  This is also how vaccination works.  Unfortunately we won't know how long this immunity lasts for sometime but this is a great start.

More Good News!

In addition, a study released by researchers in New York City found that out of 624 Covid 19 positive patients, only 3 out of the 624 did not develop antibodies.  Also great news because antibodies are immune molecules produced by the body to fight infection and the presence of antibodies in the blood typically indicates you have developed some degree of protection from the disease. The only age groups not studied in this test were those under 18.  

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