South Korean officials today revealed that 292 coronavirus patients were afraid to & # 39; be resurrected & # 39; false positive results were obtained.
Last month, the Asian country saw people who were deleted from the virus tested positive again, despite new outages.
Fears were raised, the recovered cases were re-infected by someone else, if the virus was asleep before he reactivated.
Either way, it made suspicions that a person's immunity was short lived after fighting the deadly virus, scientifically called SARS-CoV-2.
If people had no immunity, reducing draconian lockdowns would have been pointless, and no one would have protected anyone from being hit again.
A senior South Korean official has now said the flurry of & # 39; reinfected & # 39; people were because of a test error – and not of a short-lived immunity.
The expert of infectious disease revealed that dead virus fragments could remain in the body, possibly for months.
These lingering fragments can cause a positive result, although the person is no longer ill or infected, health experts added.
Oh Myoung-don, who heads the Central Clinical Committee for Emerging Disease Control (pictured at a press conference on Wednesday), said dead virus fragments that remain in the body, possibly for months. These fragments can be retrieved by tests
In the last month, the country has seen people who are & # 39; the viruses tested positive for the virus again despite new cases (pictured, new cases every day)
Health authorities in South Korea said they did not register new domestic cases of coronavirus infections by the end of Wednesday. Pictured, people outside in Seoul on April 30
Health authorities in South Korea said they did not register new domestic cases of coronavirus infections by the end of Wednesday.
It was a first for the country – which curved the global trend and prevented it from going into lockdown – since its outbreak in February began to diminish.
However, there were four new imported cases, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
South Korea's total death toll is up to 247 – a less than some European countries have reported every day.
Countries such as the US, Italy, France, Spain and the United Kingdom each have at least 100 times South Korea's death toll.
While those countries are struggling with their outbreaks, South Korea has to face a new problem: reinfections.
Epidemiologists in Seoul urgently sought to drill in & # 39; the cause of & # 39; a caring trend that appeared on April 6 for the first time in 51 patients from Daegu.
Forty more coronavirus patients in South Korea tried to recover from a disease that was tested positive on April 10.
HOW DOES SOUTH KOREA CURB THE BREAK OUT TO THE WORST IMPACT COUNTRY INSIDE CHINA?
South Korea had its outbreak of & # 39; peak of coronavirus on February 29 when & # 39; the country had the most infections of & # 39; e world outside China reported.
But it has its curves flat, reported no new domestic cases of coronavirus, and just one death.
The country has been aggressive in its fight against COVID-19, from quietly developing and storing test kits as early as January, to relying on smartphone and credit card data to track the movements of those who confirmed having the virus.
The country tested up to 20,000 people a day on the virus, which allowed them to get an idea of how to spread the virus.
Seoul began its testing program when the numbers were still small, and told companies to develop test kits as early as January 27.
The first diagnostic kit was approved on February 4, and nearly 100 laboratories are now set up to perform tests.
When cases started mounting around the Shincheonji Church, officials said they were each member of the & # 39; e sect testing.
The city of Daegu announced that nearly 10,000 worshipers were testing by March 10.
South Korea was also a pioneer of keeping track of contacts, using phone location data and smartphone apps to identify clusters of cases.
Compulsory tests and quarantines now apply to almost all arrivals from abroad, including citizens.
South Korea will install its testing facilities this month at Seoul's Incheon International Airport to screen anyone who arrives with symptoms.
All arrivals must download a government app that tracks their location and require users to report symptoms.
Everyone should self-isolate for two weeks if they report symptoms, despite nationality or if they test negative.
After the two-week period, the app displays a message saying that users are free to delete it from their phones.
The government also rationed protective face masks among citizens and provided care packages with food, water, hygiene products and masks to those in self-quarantine.
On April 27, it was reported at least 222 people were in & # 39; e & # 39; reinfected & # 39; category, like health officials are scurrying to reduce creeping nervousness that people can suddenly become infected.
Jeong Eun-kyeong, director of & # 39; Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), told a briefing that the virus instead may & # 39; responsive & # 39; is.
This would mean that the patient never fully combats the virus due to a lack of immune response.
Scientists rejected the idea that it was because of an error in testing, Hwang Seung-sik, a spatial-temporal epidemiologist at Seoul National University, told Al Jazeera News.
& # 39; Some researchers think this is actually a case of reinfection or a matter of accuracy in test kits, & # 39; he said. & # 39; Many see this as more of a virus reactivation. & # 39;
& # 39; Given the high accuracy of test kits and volume of tests performed, these many cases of reinfection or reactivation are not a high number. & # 39;
About 20 percent of people who are known to be ill again are in the & # 39; the 20s, of which the 50s are the second largest group.
& # 39; Rather than an error in test kits, I think this problem may come from a difference in & # 39; an immune system function between individuals, & # 39; said Dr Roh Kyung-ho, who & # 39; s working at the Department of Laboratory Medicine at the National Health Insurance Ilsan Hospital.
& # 39; We are in a situation where there is still no effective treatment or cure for the virus, and people may differ in how long they transmit the virus, whether it is one month or six weeks is. & # 39;
But a clinical expert panel concluded on Wednesday that recovered patients of coronavirus who were not later & # 39; reactivated & # 39; positive testing for the virus & # 39; or re-infected, but false positions were.
Oh Myoung-don, who chairs the Central Clinical Committee for Emerging Disease Control, said he and colleagues found little reason to believe that cases of COVID-19 reinfections could be as reactivations.
The head of the & # 39; committee said the false positions were due to technical limits of PCR testing.
PCR testing is considered the gold standard because of its high accuracy levels, but there are different levels of sensitivity
& # 39; The tests detected the ribonucleic acid of the dead virus, & # 39; Dr Oh, a doctor from Seoul National University hospital, told a press conference held Wednesday at the National Medical Center.
The panel notes that Covid-19 infection and viral proliferation occur in respiratory epithelial cells, which surface in the lung line.
Viral fragments can exist in epithelial cells even after the virus is inactive, according to the panel.
These cells have a half-life of up to three months, and RNA virus in the cell can be detected by PCR testing one to two months after the & # 39; elimination of & # 39; a cell, & # 39; said Dr. Oh.
The PCR tests cannot distinguish whether the virus is alive or dead, and this can lead to false positions.
& # 39; PCR testing that amplifies the virus's genetics is used in Korea to test COVID-19, and relapsing cases are due to technical limits of & # 39; e PCR tests, & # 39; Dr Oh.
Dr Oh said the coronavirus does not hang in the nucleus of human cells.
What this is about is the virus that causes COVID-19 to be different from HIV and hepatitis B viruses, which can remain dormant in cells and wake up later.
Dr Oh went on to say that it is highly unlikely that someone would be re-infected, to suggest that immunity is maintained one year after the first infection.
He said, & # 39; When we look at the results of & # 39; e coronavirus (HCoV-229E) study on humans as well as the current Covid-19 virus (SARS-CoV2) study on animals, immunity in vivo for more than one year after the first virus infection.
& # 39; Thus, it is unlikely that someone else can contract another coronavirus. & # 39;
A clinical expert has now said that the flurry of & # 39; reinfected & # 39; people were due to a test error. The infectious disease expert said dead virus fragments that remain in the body, possibly for & # 39; weeks & # 39;, can cause a positive result, even if the person is no longer sick from being infected.
The infectious disease expert said dead virus fragments that remain in the body, possibly for & # 39; weeks & # 39;, can cause a positive result, even if the person is no longer sick from being infected. Image: A Buddhist believer wearing a face mask during a service to pray for overcoming the COVID-19 outbreak at Chogyesa Temple in South Korea, April 30
Health authorities concluded that no local transfer took place from a parliamentary election this month, where authorities took security measures, including requiring voters to wear masks and plastic gloves when casting ballots. Image: Buddhist believers at a service, April 30
Reinfections would have made global efforts to contain the virus much more daunting.
Although the news from South Korea today is to hope that reinfections do not exist, it cannot be completely excluded.
Officials confided in hope that once one person has the coronavirus, they are protected from getting it again, because their body has built up antibodies.
The idea of & # 39; immunity passports & # 39; certifying that a person already has the bug was considered at one point to be the key to getting out of the global lockdown.
But the World Health Organization has warned against the idea that there is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from Covid-19 are free of the risk of a second infection.
The WHO added that tests for antibodies to the new coronavirus & # 39; need further validation & # 39; to understand how long immunity lasts.
South Korea today reports no new domestic coronavirus cases – a gain for the country that has been fighting since February.
KCDC reported four new infections, all of which were imported cases. Of the total, 1,065 cases have been imported, of which more than 90 percent were Korea's, according to a statement by KCDC.
The health authorities also concluded that no local transfer happened from a parliamentary election this month, where authorities took security measures, including requiring voters to wear masks and plastic gloves when casting ballots.
& # 39; Twenty-nine million voters participated in the April 15 parliamentary elections, & # 39; Yoon Tae-ho, director general for public health policy, told a briefing.
& # 39; Not one case related to the election has been reported in & # 39; e 14 days of & # 39; incubation period. & # 39;
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