The physical effects of the coronavirus can last much longer than initially expected, a new study found.
Research published Tuesday in the British Medical Journal suggests patients who test positive for the virus may need to wait over a month before being retested to know if it has left the body — contrasting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation that those who test positive can return to work or school after 10 days unless hospitalization is necessary, CNN reported.
Even after those who contract the virus eventually test negative, many report symptoms months later, the research shows.
“We think that this is long-term damage may in part be due to vascular damage, kind of footprint that the virus leaves even when it’s gone from the body,” Dr. William Li told CNN.
The study also found that one in five negative test results are inaccurate, which means many people are still unknowingly spreading the virus, CNN reported.
As of Wednesday, there were roughly 26 million coronavirus cases globally, including more than 858,000 deaths, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker. The U.S. leads the world in both reported cases (approximately 6.1 million) and related deaths (185,000).