British patient has COVID-19 continuously for 505 days
According to the AP, it is not known for sure whether this is the longest-running case of SARS-CoV-2 infection because not everyone is tested as often as this patient.
“But at 505 days, this is definitely the longest reported duration of illness,” Dr. Luke Blagdon Snell, infectious disease specialist at Guy’s & St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, said.
Mr. Snell’s team plans to present a number of cases COVID-19 “ongoing” at a meeting on infectious diseases in Portugal this weekend.
Scientists study which mutations emerge and whether variants evolve in people with long-term COVID-19 illness. They looked at nine patients who had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 for at least eight weeks. All of these people have weakened immune systems due to organ transplants, HIV infection, cancer or other medical conditions.
Ongoing tests showed that their infection lasted an average of 73 days. Two people have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 for more than 1 year. Previously, the researchers said, the longest reported case of COVID-19 was a positive PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 in 335 days.
The researchers note that persistent COVID-19 is a very rare condition and is different from persistent COVID-19 (Long Covid).
“For persistent COVID-19, experts generally assume that the virus has been cleared from the body but symptoms persist. Having persistent COVID-19 shows that the virus is multiplying in the body. Snell expert said.
Each time the researchers took a sample of a patient, they analyzed the virus’ genetic code to make sure it was the same variant. However, the results of genetic sequencing showed that the virus had mutated over time.
These mutations were similar to those that later emerged in widely spread variants, and none of the patients gave birth to new mutations that became worrisome variants, says Snell. In addition, there is no evidence that people with persistent COVID-19 spread the virus to others.
The researchers stress the importance of protecting vulnerable people from COVID-19 and hope more treatments will be developed to help people with persistent COVID-19 recover from the disease.
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