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.
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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.