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How long before a COVID-positive person can no longer transmit the virus


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Quarantine recommendations are 14 days. And I think this is exactly for this reason: The general time-scale that an infected person is infectious is 14 days (not taking into account re-infections which are still an open question). At the beginning of the Corona situation I did some simple simulations for the development. Apparently, I used 12 days back then, but I do not recall where I got the number from.

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Depends on severity and could be as long as 40 days

https://www.medscape.com/answers/2500114-197467/what-is-the-duration-of-viral-shedding-in-persons-with-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19

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The duration of viral shedding varies significantly and may depend on severity. Among 137 survivors of COVID-19, viral shedding based on testing of oropharyngeal samples ranged from 8-37 days, with a median of 20 days

 

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I would think 'viral shedding", in amounts large enough to cause infectious transmission, doesn't occur for some time after initial infection, as cells need to reproduce the virus in effective amounts. And I would think shedding of dead and partial viral fragments would continue to show up in testing for some time after the initial infection is no longer contagious.

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1 hour ago, MigL said:

I would think 'viral shedding", in amounts large enough to cause infectious transmission, doesn't occur for some time after initial infection, as cells need to reproduce the virus in effective amounts. And I would think shedding of dead and partial viral fragments would continue to show up in testing for some time after the initial infection is no longer contagious.

Yes, there is a difference between shed time and infectious time. For the first we got a range of data, but it is difficult to actually determine when someone is absolutely not infectious anymore. It also depends on the individual how many particles they have to be exposed to in order to become sick. 

That being said as already mentioned incubation period is somewhere in the area of 1-14 days, and first symptoms appear with a median of around 5 days. Evidence suggest that folks have the highest titer shortly before symptom onset, but infections can start up to 3 days before that. It is actually not quite clear when folks are entirely non-infectious but a general guideline is being symptoms free for 72 days or the aforementioned 14 days if symptoms are gone sooner. It seems to be reasonable but not entirely certain, of course. It should also be noted that the detection is mostly done in nasopharyngeal samples, but for example fecal shedding occurs for a fair time longer (more than 20 days). It is generally assumed not to be a common route of infection.

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  • 3 weeks later...

They just released data from a large Study that describes the effects on pregnant women. They are less likely to present with fever as the first symptom, but take longer to fend off infection and as such take longer to stop being infectious. 

So yeah, if you're pregnant, cough and sore throat is the symptom to look out for. You won't necessarily present with a fever. If you're a Dr, test on presentation of Covid-19 symptoms in pregnant women, even if they have no fever, as it is the least likely first symptom.

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COVID-19 has a prolonged and nonspecific disease course during pregnancy and in the 6 weeks after pregnancy.

- Study Conclusion

 

 

Edited by MSC
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