China carries out first lung transplant for COVID19 patient

US, WASHINGTON (NEWS OBSERVATORY) — Chinese doctors have successfully performed a lung transplant in a person infected with coronavirus COVID19 who has recovered but still suffers severe lung damage. The surgery dated February 29 has attracted widespread attention.

In an interview with The Paper, Chen Jingyu, China’s top lung transplant surgeon and team leader who performed the special operation, answered some questions.

The patient, 59, male, began developing symptoms on January 23 in Jiangsu Province, East China. Doctors diagnosed him with pneumonia from the new type coronavirus on January 26 and began extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) therapy on February 22. The patient tested negative with the virus two days later, but his lungs suffered permanent damage due to pulmonary fibrosis.

On February 28, the patient’s right lung lost 2.5 liters of blood. He was on the verge of death, but luckily, a day later, a donor to a patient whose brain had died gave a healthy lung to the COVID-recovered patient 19.

The patient is currently in stable condition. If it is successfully cured, more COVID19 patients will be able to undergo lung transplantation in the near future.

Why do some patients test positive with COVID19 after recovery?

Recent reports about patients in China who test positive for COVID19 even after being cured and discharged have raised public concern about the spread of novel coronavirus.

Chengdu in southwestern China, Sichuan and Shandong and Jiangsu provinces were the first to report coronavirus-positive patients even after recovery.

About 14 percent of recuperated patients who came out of hospitals in Guangdong had tested positive again with the virus, said Song Tie, deputy director of the Center for Disease Control in Guangdong Province.

The news has worried the population, but experts say the results are not surprising and that positive post-recovery testing does not mean the virus can spread.

Stanley Perlman, professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Iowa, confirmed at the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, that the viral genomic material revealed by the evidence does not necessarily prove to be infectious.

“The genomic material comes from the virus, of course, but it does not indicate that the infectious virus is present,” Perlman said, adding that a positive test means the virus was or was present a day or two ago.

Zhang Wenhong, head of the Shanghai expert team on COVID-19 treatment, said there is no evidence to support the claim that recovered patients who test positive after recovery can infect others.

“Viral infections follow their laws, and fully recovered patients are less likely to get sick again,” explained Zhong Nanshan, chief expert at COVID-19 in China.

In response, some hospitals in China have begun to test recovered patients using a more accurate method to find out if their stomachs, intestines and feces have remnants of the virus.

In addition, patients should undergo a two-week follow-up observation, Zhang presented.

China, 98-year-old recover from COVID-19

A 98-year-old woman suffering from coronavirus, by far the oldest patient recovering in China, emerged Sunday after recovering from a hospital in Wuhan.

The patient, identified as Mrs Hu who lived in Wuhan’s Jiang’an neighborhood, had a fever early last month. She was admitted and transferred to Leishenshan Hospital in Wuhan on February 13, along with her 55-year-old daughter, who was also infected with the virus.

It was in critical condition and had a temperature of 40 degrees Celsius. After being given antiviral and anti-infection medication she was placed on 24-hour medical monitoring.

“Her recovery will bring confidence to other patients still under treatment,” said Wang Xinghuan, hospital director.

Covid-19 lives 9 days out of body, but disinfectants and high temperatures can kill it

Covid-19 coronavirus can survive up to 9 days out of the body.

An analysis of 22 past studies of similar viruses, including SARS and MERS, published online this month in the Journal of Hospital Infection, concluded that human coronavirus can survive on environmental surfaces up to nine days at ambient temperatures, according to the scientific journal “livescience”.

However it can be eliminated at high temperatures as well as by using ordinary disinfectants, the authors of the publication write. However, it is not clear yet whether the new coronavirus responds similarly.

“In copper and iron for up to two hours it can withstand,” says Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “While on other surfaces like plastic and cardboard, it can live longer,” he adds.

Based on what is known about common coronaviruses, disease experts say the spread of the COVID-19 virus spreads through coughing or sneezing as well as contact with the feces of an infected individual.

The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention says it may be possible for a person to become infected with the new coronavirus if it touches a surface or object that has the virus and then affects the mouth, nose or eyes.

The CDC says it has a low risk of spreading products or packaging that are shipped over several days or weeks at ambient temperatures. The agency is already experimenting with how contagious the virus can be when deposited on ordinary surfaces.

The authors of the article said that such viruses are most resistant to low temperatures and low humidity environments.

And this is the reason why many viruses spread in winter.


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Article is written and prepared by our foreign editors from different countries around the world – material edited and published by News Observatory staff in our US newsroom.