How long after infection do symptoms appear? Are people infectious during this time? What about people with no symptoms? Eminent medic Dr Kailash Chand OBE passes on what is known so far
“According to the World Health Organisation, there is no evidence of re-infection with SARS-CoV-2 after recovery”
GP and former deputy chair of the British Medical Association Dr Kailash Chand writes:
- the best current estimate of the COVID-19 incubation period is 5.1 days, with 99% of individuals exhibiting symptoms within 14 days of exposure. Fewer than 2.5% of infected individuals show symptoms sooner than 2 days after exposure
- the reported range of incubation periods is wide, with high-end estimates from different sources of 24, 18 and 11.3 days
- individuals can test positive for COVID-19 despite lacking clinical symptoms
- individuals can be infectious while asymptomatic and asymptomatic individuals can have similar amounts of virus in their nose and throat as people showing symptoms
- the infectious period is uncertain, but possibly up to 10-14 days – although there have been reports of longer
- on average, there are approximately 4 to 7.5 days between symptom onset in successive cases of a single transmission chain
- most individuals requiring hospitalisation are admitted within 8-14 days of symptom onset
- patients are positive for COVID-19 via PCR (polymerase chain reaction) for 8-37 days after symptom onset
- individuals may test positive via PCR for 5-13 days after symptom recovery and hospital discharge. The ability of these individuals to infect others is currently unknown
- according to the World Health Organisation, there is no evidence of re-infection with SARS-CoV-2 after recovery
- experimentally infected macaques were not capable of being reinfected after their primary infection resolved
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