SCIO briefing on the science-based treatment of severe COVID-19 cases

The State Council Information Office held a press conference Monday afternoon in Wuhan, central China's Hubei province, to brief the media and answer questions concerning the science-based treatment of severe COVID-19 cases. March 21, 2020


Hi, I'm from Reuters and I have three questions. First, what is the current risk of reinfection amongst recovered patients in China? Second, how does the weather affect infection rates, and should we expect higher or lower rates of infection as it gets warmer? Last, when can we expect to find patient zero in China? And what clues do you have so far? Thank you. 

Du Bin:

Dr. Yan, would you please answer the first question and Dr. Cao the second.

Yan Xiaowei:

Thanks. The first question is about re-infection. Actually, reinfection is a problem after patient discharge from hospital. In China, a patient discharged from hospital in recovery from COVID-19 will be followed regularly at in two weeks and four weeks after discharge. The patient will also be monitored by local inspectors.

They will be asked to isolate themselves at home for at least two weeks. Also, they will be asked to take their temperature twice a day. If the temperature relapses, the patient will be sent to hospital for a chest CT scan and nucleic acid detection. One point I would like to address is that a positive nucleic acid test on its own doesn't mean that the patient has the intact virus particle in his body. Also, it doesn't mean the patient is infectious. So, a positive nucleic acid test alone which can be seen after virus infection is not a sign of reinfection. 

So, if we think a patient is re-infected, we should check for fever and the progression of the chest x-ray. Thank you for your question.

Xi Yanchun:

And Dr. Cao, please.

Cao Wei:

I'll take the second question. I bet that's a question many people are interested in. Currently, there has been no data regarding COVID-19 and its relation with the weather. But if we take a look from the past experience of SARS, which was another coronavirus, we can see that there are multiple factors that influence the rates of infection. For example, the gradual loss of virulence with the progression of time or regaining of virulence, because of mutation and other joint measures of prevention and control, etc. among them. Unfortunately, the impact of the weather hasn't been confirmed yet. Thank you.

Xi Yanchun:

Next question, please. In the middle area, the first line, the gentleman in the dark suit. Thank you very much. 

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