A recent report by the New England Journal of Medicine explains that a German man who became ill with the Coronavirus may have been able to spread it even after recovering from the virus.
As fears of anti-China sentiment and a viral epidemic continue to mount around the world, a German man who came into contact with a resident of Wuhan sick with Coronavirus, became ill himself, and then recovered, may have then spread the virus while healthy.
According to the New England Journal of Medicine:
A 33-year-old otherwise healthy German businessman (Patient 1) became ill with a sore throat, chills, and myalgias on January 24, 2020. The following day, a fever of 39.1°C (102.4°F) developed, along with a productive cough. By the evening of the next day, he started feeling better and went back to work on January 27.
They note that the German man had attended business meetings with a business partner from Wuhan, China who was in the incubation stage of the virus. In other words, she was contagious but asymptomatic and had no outward appearances of being ill.
The New England Journal of Medicine notes that after the German businessman recovered from Coronavirus, he returned to work, where he may have then spread the virus further:
On January 28, three additional employees at the company tested positive for 2019-nCoV (Patients 2 through 4 in Figure 1). Of these patients, only Patient 2 had contact with the index patient; the other two patients had contact only with Patient 1. In accordance with the health authorities, all the patients with confirmed 2019-nCoV infection were admitted to a Munich infectious diseases unit for clinical monitoring and isolation. So far, none of the four confirmed patients show signs of severe clinical illness.
The medical journal notes that “In this context, the detection of 2019-nCoV and a high sputum viral load in a convalescent patient (Patient 1) arouse concern about prolonged shedding of 2019-nCoV after recovery.”
It should be noted that the New England Journal of Medicine adds that “the viability of 2019-nCoV detected on qRT-PCR in this patient remains to be proved by means of viral culture.”
All patients impacted by the virus in Germany appear to have had mild cases.