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Covid-19: WHO and South Korea investigate reconfirmed cases

BMJ 2020; 369 doi: (Published 15 April 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;369:m1498

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  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

The World Health Organization and South Korea are investigating how several covid-19 patients who were believed to have recovered from the virus and had tested negative later tested positive.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) reported on 10 April that it was “investigating the epidemiological and/or clinical characteristics of 91 cases that have re-tested positive after being discharged from isolation.”1

It said that central and local teams were “conducting joint, in-depth investigations (including virus isolation culture, blood antibody test) to confirm infectivity.”

WHO has said that it is aware of the reports. A spokesperson told Reuters, “We are closely liaising with our clinical experts and working hard to get more information on those individual cases. It is important to make sure that, when samples are collected for testing on suspected patients, procedures are followed properly.”2

Re-detection and reinfection

Sung-Il Cho, professor of epidemiology at Seoul National University Graduate School of Public Health in South Korea, told The …

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