Fifty-one people who recovered from coronavirus in South Korea have tested positive again – raising fears the virus can be reactivated.
The patients – from the country’s worst-hit City, Daegu – were put in quarantine after being diagnosed with the virus, then tested positive again days being released
Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said the virus was likely ‘reactivated’, rather than patients becoming re-infected.
Scientists at the Government-run health body believe the virus may lay dormant at undetectable levels in human cells.
They say that for unknown reasons the viral particles can then be reactivated and start attacking the lungs once more.
But there is no evidence to prove that the virus acts in this way and studies in monkeys have actually shown the opposite.
Expects say in cases where patients produce a positive result twice, it is normally because of a test giving the wrong result, which happens one in five times.
Paul Hunter, an infectious diseases professor at the University of East Anglia, told MailOnline: ‘I agree that these will not be reinfections but I do not think these will be reactivations.
‘Personally I think the most likely explanation is that the clearance samples were false negative.’