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What is viral shedding?

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Viral shedding occurs when a virus replicates inside your body and is released into the environment. At that point, it may be contagious. For the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, it's not known exactly when this occurs after someone is infected. Evidence suggests that the novel coronavirus is most contagious when symptoms are worse and viral shedding is high. However, it appears that someone is contagious prior to developing symptoms, suggesting that viral shedding is occurring even early in the infection.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Reviewed by Michael W. Smith on October 14, 2020

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Reviewed by Michael W. Smith on October 14, 2020

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