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We analysed consecutive RT-qPCR results of 537 symptomatic coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients in home quarantine. Respectively 2, 3, and 4 weeks after symptom onset, 50%, 25% and 10% of patients had detectable RNA from severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). In patients with mild COVID-19, RNA detection is likely to outlast currently known periods of infectiousness by far and fixed time periods seem more appropriate in determining the length of home isolation than laboratory-based approaches.


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