Coronavirus: How long can Covid-19 live in the human body?

In general, the virus leaves the body after around 10 days but there have been cases when it was detected for three weeks a study has revealed.

El coronavirus, a vista de microscopio.

The effects of coronavirus can different from person to person, the amount of time it takes to leave the body can vary too along with the likelihood of you contracting the virus. Spain's ministry for health have published a study about the effects of coronavirus, with a focus on identifying the most vulnerable in society. The first insight is that men are slightly more likely (52%) to get the virus with 51 being the age group most affected.

Another conclusion from the study, with data taken mostly from China where the virus started, is that the peak of the disease comes after the fifth or sixth day and the human body needs around 10 days to get rid of the organism. They have, however, detected cases where the body needed 21 days to get rid of symptoms. With the genome still present in the body during this time this explains the "high transmission rate of the disease" and the exponential growth we have seen in cases.

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Transmission symptoms of coronavirus, recovery time

The study says transmission of the virus can start to happen one or two days before symptoms start to appear. That's why people who are asymptotic are unaware that they have it but are also passing it on prior to suffering symptoms and it's one of the main reasons why the state of alarm has been put in place in Spain to keep people in their homes. People who think they aren't sick might be more likely to go outside and mingle with others thus exasperating the spread. These asymptotic cases tend to be higher in children who are the least vulnerable to developing sickness from the virus with a mortality rate of practically zero.

The estimated recovery time is two weeks for light cases and between three and six weeks for more serious ones. The symptoms include fever (88% of cases), followed by a dry cough (68% of cases) and followed by fatigue and general weakness of the body (38%) and coughing up phlegm (33%). Symptoms such as vomiting, nasal congestion and diarrhea are very rare but potential symptoms.