Patients Testing Positive for Covid-19 After Recovery Puzzle Kitgum Medics

Simon Knox Okongo, Kitgum District Surveillance Focal Point Person told Uganda Radio Network in an interview Thursday that one of the recovered patients has now tested positive for covid-19 for the fourth time consistently.
A health worker extracts swab samples for covid-19 testing from a lady at Kitgum General Hospital.

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Medical workers in Kitgum District are concerned about patients testing positive for Covid-19 after they have recovered.

This follows reports that some patients have persistently been testing positive for covid-19, more than two weeks after undergoing the home-based care management.

According to the health workers, the majority of the patients earlier presented with mild signs and symptoms of covid-19.

Simon Knox Okongo, the Kitgum District Surveillance Focal Point Person says that one of the recovered patients has now tested positive for covid-19 for the fourth time consistently.

Okongo says swab samples tested using polymerase chain reaction-PCR show the patient still has a covid-19 viral load even nearly after two months since the time she got the infection.

He notes that the trend has puzzled health workers and left them in panic.

Okongo says they intend to alert the Health Ministry and the World Health Organization (WHO) to help investigate the phenomenon whether it’s a new strain of Covid-19.

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Dr Geoffrey Okello, the Acting Medical Superintendent of Kitgum General Hospital and Head of the district covid-19 case management says averagely, covid-19 viral load in a patient should be able to clear within 14 days.

Dr Okello, however, says the lengthy duration of viral clearance in some of the patients could be a combination of factors that includes low immunity, improper medical treatment, and stress factor which lowers the body's immunity. He adds that the persistent positivity could also signal a new strain of covid-19 variant and notes that there is a need to conduct genomic typing.

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The district task force is also still in panic following the mysterious death of a lady from Kitgum General Hospital on Wednesday evening.

Kitgum Resident District Commissioner William Komakech during a weekly covid-19 taskforce meeting on Thursday disclosed that an autopsy conducted on the patient revealed she had contracted covid-19.

He however says her sudden death after showing no complications during the daytime is highly suspicious of the new deadly delta Variant and notes that samples have been taken for further analysis. 

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But Okongo notes that the patient presented with signs and symptoms of acute asthmatic attack before passing on.

Kitgum District has so far registered seven covid-19 deaths with 431 cumulative positive cases since March last year.

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