Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a highly infectious disease. A small proportion of discharged patients became positive again for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA, even though they met the discharge criteria. Herein, we report a rare COVID-19 patient with recurrent recurrence of positive SARS-CoV-2 RNA.
Case presentation: A 68-year-old man was admitted due to fever, muscle pain, and fatigue. He was initially diagnosed with COVID-19 according to two consecutive positive results for SARS-CoV-2 RNA. He was discharged from hospital when meeting the discharge criteria. He tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA twice during the quarantine and was hospitalized again. He was asymptomatic then, but IgG and IgM anti-SARS-CoV-2 were both positive. He was discharged in the context of four consecutive negative test results for SARS-CoV-2 RNA after antiviral treatment. However, he tested positive once again on the 3rd and 4th days after the second discharge. Two days later, the SARS-CoV-2 RNA results became negative in three consecutive retests, and he was finally discharged.
Conclusion: This case suggests that convalescent patients may become positive again for SARS-CoV-2 RNA after discharge due to prolonged nucleic acid transition. However, the potential infectivity of these patients needs to be further confirmed in future research.