COVID-19 recovery: Separating fact from fiction

FACT OR FICTION? COVID-19 treatments, recovery and when it's safe to be around others

SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - As the number of COVID-19 cases rises, so too does the number of questions from the public about the novel coronavirus.

One of the biggest questions involves what to do when it appears a person has recovered from the virus. After you tested positive and were in self-quarantine, do you then need to be re-tested later to make sure the virus is gone?

The answer is no, because remnants of the virus can linger in the body for three months. That means you can still have a positive test result but are no longer infectious.

That’s why the CDC tells medical professionals to rely on a “symptom-based” rather than “test-based” strategy for ending isolation of these patients.

When you ask the general public about these issues, they understandably have lots of questions.

“I believe everything is uncertain at this point. So we can’t just say what it is or what it’s not because nobody really knows,” said Allison Washington, who just took a COVID-19 test at the testing site at Querbes Recreation Center in Shreveport.

“So we just need to do what we need to do to safeguard ourselves, safeguard our family and friends and our co-workers, especially since we’re back in the work force right now.”

As for how long you need to stay in self-imposed isolation, we’ve often heard the figure of 14 days.

The CDC now reports that mild to moderate COVID-19 patients are infectious no longer than 10 days after symptoms begin or 20 days in severe or critical cases.

“So my husband, he’s not ill, but he’s going to have a little medical procedure next week. And so they insisted that he have a COVID test first,” Susan Ludwig said as she waited for her husband to be tested.

It is a bit frustrating how the goal posts keep getting moved on the timelines for COVID recovery, she added.

“First it was 14 days. And now everybody’s saying, ‘well, maybe it’s 10 days. Well, maybe it’s five days. You know, I don’t know,” Ludwig said.

Separating fact from fiction can also be a challenge. Myths for a COVID cure range from taking certain vitamin supplements to claims that cold or hot weather can kill the virus. Those would be a no, no and no.

One of the biggest questions when it comes to separating fact from fiction is about COVID recovery: Can you be re-infected by the coronavirus?

The short answer is yes; but it is uncommon until 90 days after recovery.

“I don’t think anybody knows. It’s only been here for a year. What are you going to learn from a year. It’s not going to be a whole lot,” Landon Woodward said shortly after his COVID test.

Retesting at the end of quarantine is not suggested as traces of the virus can linger for three months, sometimes still resulting in a positive test result even though you are no longer infectious.

The best advice: Ask your doctor before starting any medical treatment plan.

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