COVID-19 Patients Most Infectious in First Week of Illness |
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COVID-19 Patients Most Infectious in First Week of Illness

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A systematic review and meta-analysis has revealed that SARS-CoV-2 viral load in the upper respiratory tract reached a maximum during the first week of illness based on cycle threshold values; however, individuals continued to shed viral matter for over 2 weeks.

None of the 79 studies included in the review could find live virus beyond 9 days, reported theauthors. The pooled mean viral shedding was found to be linked with age, but not sex. The maximum duration of viral shedding appeared to be 83 days in the upper respiratory tract, 59 days in the lower respiratory tract, 126 days in stool samples, and 60 days in serum samples. Although viable virus was isolated for up to 4 weeks of illness in stool, fecal-oral transmission was not considered a primary driver of infection. The review is published online in The Lancet Microbe… (Medpage Today)

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