Can COVID-19 be reactivated? New information comes from S.Korea

Coronavirus ( COVID-19) is deadly, but once you’re cured you’re cured, and safe from catching it again. Or are you?

South Korea’s handling of the epidemic has been widely acclaimed, especially their heavy focus on mass-testing and their efficient execution of anti-epidemic plans. They were one of the first countries to catch the virus, but have only had around 200 deaths till date, and their daily new case count is on the decline. However, new reports from the South Korean Centre for Disease Control suggest that the virus may be reactivated in people who have seemingly been ‘cured’ of the illness.


51 patients who were considered ‘cured’ have tested positive again. Though there is a chance they could’ve been reinfected, it is far more likely that the virus might simply have ‘reactivated’ in their bodies. This fear is being echoed in countries like China, who seemed to be on the other side of the crisis with almost 77000 recoveries out of 82000 cases but are now seeing a resurgence in cases.

Another major issue is the potential for asymptomatic spread of the virus i.e. even people who don’t exhibit symptoms are capable of carrying and spreading the virus. This is one of the hardest facets of this issue to deal with for the administration, as such cases fly completely under the radar of testing and detection.

This, along with reports that a COVID-19 test is only 47% negative-accurate (i.e. 47% of the cases that test negative for COVID-19 may actually be positive), raises important questions as to when exactly is it safe to release people from quarantine, and whether it is the need of the hour to develop better tests.

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