Exeter UK January 15 ANI A new study found that one in 10 people might have clinically relevant levels of potentially infectious SARS-CoV- 2 past the 10 day quarantine period.
The study was published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases.
The study, which was conducted by the University of Exeter and funded by Animal Free Research UK, used a newly adapted test that could detect whether the virus was potentially still active. It was applied to samples from 176 people in Exeter who had tested positive on standard PCR tests.
The study found that 13 per cent of people still had clinically relevant levels of the virus after 10 days, meaning they could potentially still be infectious. Some people retained these levels for up to 68 days. The authors believe that this new test should be applied in settings where people are vulnerable to the spread of COVID - 19.
Professor Lorna Harries, of the University of Exeter Medical School, oversaw the study. She said that although this is a relatively small study, our results suggest that potentially active virus may sometimes persist beyond a 10 day period, and could pose a potential risk of onward transmission. There was nothing clinically remarkable about these people, which means that we wouldn't be able to predict who they are. Conventional PCR tests work by testing for the presence of viral fragments. While they can tell if a person has recently had the virus, they can't tell whether it is still active or not. Only when the virus is active and potentially capable of onward transmission, the test used in the latest study gives a positive result.
Merlin Davies, a lead author at the University of Exeter Medical School, said people returning to care homes after illness, people continuing to be infectious after ten days could pose a serious public health risk. We may need to make sure people in that setting have a negative active virus test to make sure they are not infectious. Animal Free Research UK CEO, Carla Owen, said that The University of Exeter team's discovery is exciting and potentially very important. It shows how focusing exclusively on human biology can lead to results that are more reliable and more likely to benefit humans and animals. Pioneering Animal Free work is what will give the best chance of defeating Covid 19 and finding better treatments for all human diseases. Owen said that the results sent a loud and clear message to the Government to better fund modern medical research and make the UK a world leader in cutting edge science.