Double infections – our worst nightmare unfolding: Several patients of the deadly coronavirus in China who were discharged from care are testing positive for COVID-19 again, according to Chinese state media. Beijing-owned newspaper People’s Daily reported Friday a former patient in Szechuan Province in southwest China tested positive for the killer virus behind more than 2,200 deaths in the country. The patient was discharged from a local hospital and was quarantined for 14 days at home, an apartment in the city of Chengdu, according to the report. On the 10th day of the isolation period, which was Wednesday, the patient was confirmed for the virus, following a DNA test at a designated hospital.
The patient and the patient’s family reportedly never left the apartment under quarantine, and had items delivered to their home by the building’s management, according to Chinese state media. The reinfection case in Chengdu is not unique, according to physician Zhao Jianping, a respiratory and critical care specialist at Tongji Hospital in Wuhan. Zhao said one his patients tested positive for the virus after being discharged. Zhao told Chinese state media a discharge judgment should be “made carefully.”
Ceng Yan, a professor of medicine at Wuhan University of Science and Technology, said false negative test results continue to be a source of problems in the city that is at the epicenter of the Chinese epidemic. China is also struggling with COVID-19 outbreaks in prisons, where inmates are clustered in cells. Beijing’s Prison Administration Bureau said Friday at a press briefing five prisons in the provinces of Hubei, Shandong and Zhejiang are reporting outbreaks of COVID-19 among inmates. The Chinese prisons affected include an all-women’s prison in Wuhan with 230 patients, a prison in Wujin, Hubei Province with 41 confirmed patients and nine suspected patients, and Rencheng Prison in Shandong Province with 200 confirmed patients and 10 suspected cases. Shilifeng Prison, in the eastern province of Zhejiang, has 34 confirmed patients. The outbreak at the prison began after a prison guard (a super-spreader) “concealed” he had visited Wuhan from Jan. 14 to 19, Chinese authorities said. –UPI
Sounding the alarm: Chinese doctors sounding the alarm on the coronavirus say the illness could be even deadlier for patients who catch it again, according to a report. The whistle-blowing physicians working to fight the virus in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, revealed that medically cleared patients have been getting re-infected, the Taiwan News reported. “It’s highly possible to get infected a second time,” one of the doctors, who declined to be identified, told the outlet. The physician said that medication used to treat the virus can have negative side effects on patients’ heart tissue, making them more susceptible to cardiac arrest.
“A few people recovered from the first time by their own immune system, but the meds they use are damaging their heart tissue, and when they get it the second time, the antibody doesn’t help but makes it worse, and they die a sudden death from heart failure,” the doctor said. The doctor added that the virus has “outsmarted all of us,” since he says it’s able to hide symptoms for up to 24 days — which contradicts current guidance that the incubation period is two weeks. What’s more, the infected patients often return false negatives before eventually being diagnosed with the illness.
“It can fool the test kit — there were cases that they found, the CT scan shows both lungs are fully infected but the test came back negative four times,” the whistle-blower said. “The fifth test came back positive.” The virus, officially known has COVID-19, has killed at least 2,004 people in mainland China and infected more than 74,000 others. –NY Post