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Viral shedding in coronavirus patients takes longer than thought

Researchers say median duration for expulsion in survivors required 20 days

The critical isolation unit of the Red Cross Hospital in Wuhan, China, on Jan. 24. Photo: Ding Gang/Caixin
The critical isolation unit of the Red Cross Hospital in Wuhan, Hubei province, Jan. 24. Photo: Ding Gang/Caixin

A newly published paper identifies the risk factors and clinical course of patients who died from Covid-19 and suggests for the first time that surviving patients take far longer to shed the virus than expected.

The paper, produced by a team led by China-Japan Friendship Hospital Vice President Cao Bin and published on March 9 by the prestigious medical journal The Lancet, is the first research focusing on fatal cases of coronavirus disease. It may provide important clinical guidelines to help doctors anticipate mild patients turning into severe cases, Cao said.

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