Needless to say, COVID-19 is highly communicable. But, the risk of contracting it from people who are suffering from the SARS-CoV-2 infection can be reduced if you know when are they most contagious. Also Read - India's COVID-19 Caseload Crosses 93 Lakh Mark With 43,032 Fresh Cases, 492 Deaths
According to a research conducted at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, viral load and viral shedding remain at a peak from approximately the time of the onset of the first COVID-19 symptom to the fifth-day post-infection. Notably, once you get infected with a virus, it multiplies in your body and sheds through coughing, sneezing, speaking. This is how it spreads from person to person. Also Read - Gujarat: 5 Patients Dead as Fire Breaks Out in ICU of COVID Hospital in Rajkot; PM Modi Expresses Pain
In the case of COVID-19 also, it is significant to know that for how long a SARS-CoV-2 positive person can continue to shed the virus especially those who are asymptomatic patients as they can easily and unknowingly pass the virus to someone else. Also Read - AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 Vaccine Under Scanner After Error, Serum Institute Says Indian Trials Going Smooth
According to CDC, a recovered person can continue to shed the novel coronavirus for up to 3 months after the onset of the illness. But, that doesn’t mean he is shedding the live virus. A UK-based study has revealed that the live virus is not found in patients for a longer period.
The study paper reads, “Our findings suggest that, although patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection might have prolonged RNA shedding of up to 83 days in upper respiratory tract infection, no live virus was isolated from culture beyond day 9 of symptoms despite persistently high viral RNA loads.”
CDC has said that people who are experiencing mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms will no longer be contagious after 10 days of the onset of the symptoms. However, those with severe illness will be infectious for no longer than 20 days after the arrival of the symptoms.
According to the CDC, a COVID-19 recovered person can continue to shed detectable COVID-19 RNA in his upper respiratory specimens for around 3 months post the onset of the disease.