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J Med Virol ; 2020 Apr 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-88430

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: With the effective prevention and control of COVID-19 in China, the number of cured cases has increased significantly. Further monitoring of the disease prognosis and effective control of the "relapse" of the epidemic has become the next focus of work. This study analysed the clinical prognosis of discharged COVID-19 patients by monitoring their SAR-CoV-2 nucleic acid status, which provided a theoretical basis for medical institutions to formulate discharge standards and follow-up management for COVID-19 patients. METHODS: We included 13 discharged COVID-19 patients who were quarantined for 4 weeks at home. The patient's daily clinical signs were recorded and sputum and faecal specimens were regularly sent for detection of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid. RESULTS: The time between initial symptoms and meeting discharge criteria was 18 to 44 days with an average of 25 ± 6 days. The faecal samples of two patients still tested positive after meeting the discharge criteria and the sputum samples of four patients returned positive 5 to 14 days after discharge. The rate of the recurring positive test result in samples from the respiratory system was 31% (4/13). CONCLUSION: Under the present discharge criteria, the high presence of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid in faecal and respiratory samples of discharged COVID-19 patients indicates potential infectivity. Therefore, we suggest that faecal virus nucleic acid should be tested as a routine monitoring index for COVID-19 and a negative result be added to the criteria. Simultaneously, we should strengthen the regular follow-up of discharged patients with continuous monitoring of the recurrence of viral nucleic acid.

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