Recovering from coronavirus illness can take up to 'six weeks' WHO official says

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(CNN) -- It can take several weeks to fully recover from illness caused by novel coronavirus, Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of Health Emergencies Programme at the World Health Organization, said during a briefing on Monday.

"It takes anything up to six weeks to recover from this disease," Ryan said. "People who suffer very severe illness can take months to recover from the illness."

Ryan added that recovery is often measured by the patient no longer exhibiting symptoms and having two consecutive negative tests for the virus at least one day apart, but some countries may measure "recovery" differently.

To date, there is no specific medicine to treat coronavirus illness, but those infected can recover with appropriate care to relieve and treat symptoms — and those with severe illness should receive optimized supportive care, according to WHO.