Can COVID-19 Recur after Recovery?

Source: HangzhouTube, CGTN

A cured patient of the COVID-19 in Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province, tested positive for the disease again on February 19 10 days after being discharged from the hospital, according to the Public Health Clinical Center of Chengdu (PHCC).

A screenshot of PHCC's report 

The case has raised concerns about the recurrence rate of the COVID-19. 

"The chance of re-infection of the novel coronavirus is very small," Zhong Nanshan, China's renowned respiratory expert, said during a video conference with doctors in central China's Wuhan on Monday.

Explaining the case, Zhong attributed the positive test result with the level of sensitivity of the testing kit used.
"Methods including testing IgG antibodies in sera can be used to determine whether a discharged patient is re-infected," he said, adding that a patient in recovery can generate antibodies and the chance of re-infection is small thereafter.

"The probability of re-infection is low. It doesn't represent the big picture," said Zhong. 

A patient could be discharged from the hospital if he shows no symptom, tests negative twice on the nucleic acid test using throat swabs, and has good CT scans, said Zhong. 

The expert said there is chance that the virus might become long-standing. 

"The key is to keep it to a minimum," he said. "Would it be like influenza which occurs annually? I think it's less likely."