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Will I still be contagious after recovering from COVID-19?

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, orange, emerging from the surface of cells, gray, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S. THE CANADIAN PRESS/NIAID-RML via AP

Study suggests COVID-19 patients are most contagious during first week of symptoms

B.C. says you should stay isolated for 10 days after onset of symptoms and while still feeling sick

NEWS 1130 is working hard to get you the information you need about the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are responding to your questions in a segment we call NEWS 1130 Gets Answers.


This question came from Trisha: “I would like to know if a person who has fully recovered from [COVID-19 can still] transmit it to others.”


It’s hard to say anything definitive about the coronavirus and its characteristics because it is so new.

But there is good reason to believe a COVID-19 patient is most contagious in the first few days of the disease. A German study found viral shedding was at its highest during the first week of symptoms.

People with COVID-19 symptoms should stay in self isolation (if they don’t require hospitalization) for at least 10 days after they start feeling sick. And they should only leave isolation once symptoms such as sore throat, runny nose, and nausea have subsided.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control says before leaving isolation, your fever must go away completely without taking medications such as Advil or Tylenol, which can reduce a fever. But you might keep coughing for several weeks and if that’s your only symptom, you can leave self isolation, according to the BCCDC.

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