Your Covid-19 questions answered

How do I know when I have recovered from Covid-19?

18 August 2021 - 07:00 By cebelihle bhengu
Signs of recovery from Covid-19 differ from patient to patient, says the National Institute for Communicable Diseases. File photo.
Signs of recovery from Covid-19 differ from patient to patient, says the National Institute for Communicable Diseases. File photo.
Image: Emile Bosch

Signs you have recovered from Covid-19 differ from person to person depending on the severity of your illness, says the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD).

Covid-19 patients who don’t require hospitalisation must self-isolate for 10 days, after which the symptoms will not be transmissible to other people.

According to the NICD, symptomatic patients with mild disease who are not in hospital can come out of isolation if their symptoms, including fever, show improvement after the 10 day isolation period.

With hospitalised patients, health workers focused on their clinical stability will determine when they are fit enough to be discharged. For example, when they no longer need supplemental oxygen. Other symptoms are also assessed. These patients can continue their isolation period either at home or in an isolation facility provided they show clinical stability. 

Patients who are asymptomatic can move out of isolation after the mandatory 10 days.

According to the NICD, it is possible for patients to experience some symptoms long after they have recovered, but this does not mean they are transmissible. 

Full recovery may take several weeks for some patients, especially for symptoms such as fatigue, cough and anosmia (loss of sense of smell). Patients who are still symptomatic at the end of their isolation period can be deisolated provided their fever has resolved and their other symptoms have shown improvement,” it said.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said within five to 10 days after contracting Covid-19, infected people start to produce neutralising antibodies that reduce the risk of transmission. 

“Factors that determine transmission risk include whether a virus is still replication-competent, whether the patient has symptoms  such as a cough, which can spread infectious droplets, and the behaviour and environmental factors associated with the infected individual,” said the organisation. 


subscribe