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Positive RT-PCR Test Results in Patients Recovered From COVID-19

Educational Objective
Understand the effects of COVID-19 on recovered patients
1 Credit CME

Previous studies on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) mainly focused on epidemiological, clinical, and radiological features of patients with confirmed infection.14 Little attention has been paid to the follow-up of recovered patients.

One hospitalized patient and 3 patients (all medical personnel) quarantined at home with COVID-19 were treated at Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, China, from January 1, 2020, to February 15, 2020, and evaluated with real-time reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests for COVID-19 nucleic acid to determine if they could return to work. All the following criteria5 had to be met for hospital discharge or discontinuation of quarantine: (1) normal temperature lasting longer than 3 days, (2) resolved respiratory symptoms, (3) substantially improved acute exudative lesions on chest computed tomography (CT) images, and (4) 2 consecutively negative RT-PCR test results separated by at least 1 day.

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Article Information

Corresponding Authors: Haibo Xu, MD, PhD, Department of Radiology (xuhaibo1120@hotmail.com), and Yirong Li, MD, PhD, Department of Laboratory Medicine (liyirong838@163.com), Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Donghu Road, Wuchang District, Wuhan City 430071, Hubei Province, China.

Published Online: February 27, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.2783

Author Contributions: Drs H. Xu and Li had full access to all of the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. Drs Lan and D. Xu contributed equally to the study. Drs H. Xu and Li contributed equally as senior authors.

Concept and design: Lan, D. Xu, Xia, Wang, H. Xu.

Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: Lan, Ye, Wang, Li.

Drafting of the manuscript: Lan, D. Xu, Ye, H. Xu.

Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: Xia, Wang, Li.

Statistical analysis: D. Xu, H. Xu.

Supervision: Li.

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.

Funding/Support: This study was supported by grant 81771819 from the National Natural Science Foundation of China and grant 2017YFC0108803 from the National Key Research and Development Plan of China.

Role of the Funder/Sponsor: The study funders/sponsors had no role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

References
1.
Wang  D, Hu  B, Hu  C,  et al.  Clinical characteristics of 138 hospitalized patients with 2019 novel coronavirus–infected pneumonia in Wuhan, China.  JAMA. Published online February 7, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.1585PubMedGoogle Scholar
2.
Chan  JF-W, Yuan  S, Kok  K-H,  et al.  A familial cluster of pneumonia associated with the 2019 novel coronavirus indicating person-to-person transmission: a study of a family cluster.  Lancet. 2020;395(10223):514-523. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30154-9PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
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Wei  M, Yuan  J, Liu  Y, Fu  T, Yu  X, Zhang  ZJ.  Novel coronavirus infection in hospitalized infants under 1 year of age in China.  JAMA. Published online February 14, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.2131PubMedGoogle Scholar
4.
Pan  F, Ye  T, Sun  P,  et al.  Time course of lung changes on chest CT during recovery from 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pneumonia.  Radiology. Published online February 13, 2020. doi:10.1148/radiol.2020200370PubMedGoogle Scholar
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China National Health Commission. Diagnosis and treatment of 2019-nCoV pneumonia in China. In Chinese. Published February 8, 2020. Accessed February 19, 2020. http://www.nhc.gov.cn/yzygj/s7653p/202002/d4b895337e19445f8d728fcaf1e3e13a.shtml
6.
Xie  X, Zhong  Z, Zhao  W, Zheng  C, Wang  F, Liu  J.  Chest CT for typical 2019-nCoV pneumonia: relationship to negative RT-PCR testing.  Radiology. Published online February 12, 2020. 2020;200343. doi:10.1148/radiol.2020200343PubMedGoogle Scholar
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