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People stop being infectious after 11 days even if they test positive

People stop being infectious after 11 days even if they test positive, a Singaporean study has found.

A study has found that people stop passing on the disease after 11 days even if they continue to test positive (Picture: Getty)

Covid-19 patients stop being infectious 11 days after contracting the virus even if they test positive on day 12, a new study has found.

Infectious disease experts in Singapore found that a person becomes contagious about two days before symptoms show. After the person starts showing symptoms they remain contagious for between seven and 10 days, according to the joint study from the country’s National Center for Infectious Diseases and the Academy of Medicine.

This backs up what the UK government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, told experts earlier this month.

However, the Singaporean study also found that the virus ‘could not be isolated or cultured after day 11 of the illness’. The study was based on the viral load of 73 patients infected with Covid-19 to analyse their rate of transmission.

‘Based on the accumulated data since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the infectious period of [coronavirus] in symptomatic individuals may begin around 2 days before the onset of symptoms, and persists for about 7-10 days after the onset of symptoms,’ the researchers wrote.

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It said although patients may still test positive after two weeks, the tests may be picking up particles of the virus in the system that can no longer be transmitted to another person.

A test tube is seen labelled with the official Covid-19 terminology on May 14, 2020 in London, England .

Researchers say those who continue to test positive may be due to tests picking up fragments of the virus still in their system (Picture: Getty)

‘Active viral replication drops quickly after the first week, and viable virus was not found after the second week of illness,’ researchers added.

The UK’s chief scientific adviser told the Health and Social Care Committee on May 5 that a person is most infectious during the onset of the virus.

‘The most highly infectious time is a day or two before symptoms start and two or three days after symptoms start and thereafter it tails off reasonably quickly in most people,’ said Sir Patrick.

‘By between five and seven days after people are much less infectious.’

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He added that this is why social distancing is still so important, as many asymptomatic sufferers could be passing the virus on.

The findings come as the UK’s death toll rose to 36,793 across all settings.

The figure includes an increase of 118 fatalities including in care homes in 24 hours.

In total, 259,559 people have tested positive, an increase of 2,409 cases since the day before.

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