Re-appearance of the SARS-CoV-2 virus nucleic acid in patients recovering from COVID-19

As of March 13, 2020, the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19 worldwide has caused more than 130,000 infections and the death toll near 5,000. A study of 72,314 Chinese patient records revealed that most cases (80.9%) had mild symptoms while the elderly and people with comorbid conditions such as hypertension and diabetes are at higher risk of severe disease (1). So far, more than 60,000 patients have recovered from COVID-19 pneumoniae and are discharged home based on the Novel Coronavirus Infection Diagnosis and Treatment Plan released by the China National Health Commission (CNHC). The discharge standards include: (I) body temperature back to normal for more than 3 days; (II) respiratory symptoms significantly improved; (III) chest CT images of bilateral lungs showing significant absorption of acute exudative lesions; and (IV) negative nucleic acid test for two consecutive respiratory specimens with at least 1-day sampling interval.

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