How long can you stay positive after having had the Covid and how long do you remain contagious?

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How long does a test stay positive?

A patient remains positive on average between 5 to 7 days. However, in some people, the portage can be longer, and last up to 8 weeks, as our French colleagues from La Voix du Nord write. How to explain it? “It all depends on the patients,” says Dr. Jimmy Mohamed to our colleagues from Europe 1. “Some people will indeed keep a small excretion of the virus in their body. And the detection techniques using the PCR test are so efficient that they detect them, even though these traces are no longer contagious. “

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“It all depends on the variant, the technique used, the sampling site depending on the evolution of symptoms, the patient’s immunity,” explains Vanessa Escuret, from the National Reference Center for Respiratory Infections Viruses in Lyon. “An immunocompromised patient who has had a severe form can shed the virus for several weeks or even months… as seen with other respiratory viruses. In the immunocompetent, it should be considered that at 7 days after the onset of signs, if the patient is well and is clinically cured, he is no longer contagious. PCR can detect RNA long enough depending on all of the above parameters without the patient necessarily being contagious. “

How long do you stay contagious?

According to the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), “it takes an average of 5 to 8 days between infection by the virus and the possibility of transmitting it to a third party, which one develops symptoms or not ”. From the first signs, the risk of transmission is highest. It will gradually decrease “from the 7th day following the onset of symptoms. It becomes limited beyond 10 days and exceptional after 14 days, ”continues INSERM. These times are only averages and vary according to the patients and the variants. Hence the importance of respecting barrier gestures.

The High Council of Public Health (HCSP) recommends that people who have been contaminated strictly wear the mask for seven days in the event of contact with a person at risk.

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