Dr Chris explains how you could test positive for Covid-19 for two years

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In recent weeks there have been reports of people testing positive with COVID-19, or Long Covid, two years on from infection. Dr. Smith explained on BBC Breakfast that the virus can linger in the body despite it not showing up in lateral flow tests. 

For most people, the coronavirus is “slowly pushed out” and the “infection is combatted” by your immune system, according to Dr. Smith. 

But this process is slow and can sometimes leave the virus “loitering” around the body. This can mean people test positive for the virus.

He said: “As your body pushes out the virus, the amount that you have got in your body is falling, with time.

“It does not switch off like a light bulb at the flick of a switch, it falls gently and more slowly with more time.

“So it is a gentle curve.”

The more of the virus there is, the more likely it is that it will be a positive lateral flow test, he explained.

“So that means that, with time, you will get to a point where there is not enough virus to trigger the test to be positive,” Dr Chris said.

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But some people may have COVID-19 despite, the test, he explained, although they are not likely to infect others.

He added: “You can find in some people for a really long time after infection.

“This is evidence that the virus is loitering in certain parts of the body for months.

“That does not mean they are still actively productively infected.

“They are not infected enough to pass the infection onto a third party.”

“So it is really about the numbers. How much virus is in your body? how much you are dispensing into the environment around you?”

Dr Smith also explained that people with immune problems are even more likely to struggle to “push out” their infection.

The Office for National Statistics recently found one in 40 people have symptoms that last for at least three months after infection.

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Roughly 1.5 million people in the UK think they’ve had long Covid symptoms and 685,000 believe their long Covid has lasted over a year.

There are numerous symptoms of Long Covid according to the NHS.

These include fatigue, shortness of breath and chest pain a long time after the initial infection.

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