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Coronavirus patient, 42, kept testing positive five weeks after his symptoms disappeared as officials warn fragments of the virus can linger in the body for MONTHS

Coronavirus patient, 42, kept testing positive five weeks after his symptoms disappeared as officials warn fragments of the virus can linger in the body for MONTHS
  • Charles Pignal, 42, of Singapore, tested positive for the coronavirus on March 4 
  • His symptoms, including a cough and 102F fever, disappeared after his second day in the hospital
  • But test results kept coming back positive and did so for five weeks, even though Pignal had no signs of the virus 
  • On April 11, after two negative test results taken 24 hours apart, Pignal was discharged from the hospital 
The novel coronavirus may remain in the human body for weeks or months longer than expected.
Charles Pignal, 42, tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, on March 4 after displaying all the classic symptoms.
Two days into his hospital stay, he no longer had a cough or 102F fever and he had a lot of energy, so he assumed he had a mild case, reported the Los Angeles Times.
But for five more weeks, the footwear executive kept testing positive, despite having no signs or symptoms. 
He was finally discharged from the isolation ward at the Singapore National Center for Infectious Diseases 40 days after testing positive after he got two negative test results taken 24 hours apart.
Cases like Pignal's are popping up all over the world, stumping doctors and other healthcare workers in regards to why the virus doesn't clear in some patients, even in those with no underlying medical conditions.  
Recent findings from South Korea found that 'dead' fragments of the virus can remain in the body for months after a patient is declared to be recovered.
Charles Pignal, 42, of Singapore tested positive for the coronavirus on March 4. Pictured: Pignal on his first day in the hospitalHis symptoms, including a cough and 102F fever, disappeared after his second day in the hospital. Pictured: Pignal on his 40th day in the hospital
Pignal was in the hospital for 40 days and was discharged on April 11, after he received two negative test results taken 24 hours apart. Pictured: Pignal, left, with his fiancée after he was discharged from the hospital
Pignal was in London for a business trip in early March and believes he was infected while he was abroad.
After a few days in the hospital, he felt healthy and even told his mother: 'I'll be out of here in a couple of days.'
But the positive test results kept coming back and he asked his physician if he was still infectious.
'He said: 'We don't know, but there's no evidence that what you're shedding is contagious,'' Pignal, a Frenchman, said. To be considered recovered, a patient must have no fever without the help of drugs for 72 hours, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Additionally, the person must also show improvement in his or her respiratory health and have two negative tests results taken at least 24 hours apart. 
Pignal tested negative on Day 23, but he tested positive the next day.
The 42-year-old updated his followers on his Instagram account, where he generally posts book reviews. 
'Feeling fine, no symptoms but still testing positive,' he wrote on March 12, day eight of his hospital stay.
'Just found out I'm probably here for another week or so. I really can't complain though: this is a world-class hospital and staff so I should just shut up already.'
Little did he know he would be in the hospital for another 30 days. 
After a month, Pignal said he started to feel more and morel isolated and more and more hopeless.
'Coronavirus update: The Resort feels quite isolating and the contradictory information we receive makes it more distressing,' he wrote on Instagram.
Finally on April 10 and 11, he got his back-to-back negative test results and was allowed to return home to his fiancée. 
Most people with the virus recover after about two weeks, but between one percent and two percent continue to shed the virus, meaning they spread it to others. 

South Korea officials warn 'dead' fragments of the virus can remain in the body for months

South Korean officials have today revealed 292 coronavirus patients feared to have been 'reinfected' were given false positive results.
Over the past month the Asian country has seen people cleared of the virus testing positive again, despite new cases thinning out.
Fears were raised the recovered cases had been reinfected from somebody else, or the virus had laid dormant before reactivating again.
Either way, it raised suspicions that a person's immunity is short lived after fighting off the deadly virus, scientifically called SARS-CoV-2.
If humans had no immunity, easing draconian lockdowns would have been pointless because no-one would be protected from being struck down again.
A senior South Korean official has now said the flurry of 'reinfected' people was due to a testing fault - and not a short-lived immunity.
The infectious disease expert revealed dead virus fragments can remain in the body, possibly for months.
These lingering fragments may cause a positive result, even though the person is not sick or infectious anymore, health chiefs added.

South Korea officials warn 'dead' fragments of the virus can remain in the body for months

South Korean officials have today revealed 292 coronavirus patients feared to have been 'reinfected' were given false positive results.
Over the past month the Asian country has seen people cleared of the virus testing positive again, despite new cases thinning out.
Fears were raised the recovered cases had been reinfected from somebody else, or the virus had laid dormant before reactivating again.
Either way, it raised suspicions that a person's immunity is short lived after fighting off the deadly virus, scientifically called SARS-CoV-2.
If humans had no immunity, easing draconian lockdowns would have been pointless because no-one would be protected from being struck down again.
A senior South Korean official has now said the flurry of 'reinfected' people was due to a testing fault - and not a short-lived immunity.
The infectious disease expert revealed dead virus fragments can remain in the body, possibly for months.
These lingering fragments may cause a positive result, even though the person is not sick or infectious anymore, health chiefs added.China and South Korea are the two countries where the most recovered patients test positive again. 
Heath experts in both Asian countries say they don't think it's because patients are being reinfected.
They believe it's either due to false negatives or because 'dead' virus particles are still in their bodies. 
Recent data from the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) revealed that 292 people that were deemed recovered and tested positive again. 
'RNA fragments still can exist in a cell even if the virus is inactivated,' Oh Myoung-don, head of the the KCDC's clinical committee for emerging disease control, told Newsweek.
'It is more likely that those who tested positive again picked up virus RNA that has already been inactivated.'   

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