The Covid-19 patient in the UK tested positive for 16 months until his death, the longest known case of infection, according to a study published on Friday on the development of the virus in immunosuppressed patients (22).
The patient, whose identity has not been revealed, was first diagnosed with coronavirus in the body in mid-2020 and had difficulty breathing. He remained positive in all tests (about 45) until his death, 505 days later, Gaia Nebbia, co-author of the study, told AFP.
This is the longest known case of Covid-19 infection to date, according to a statement by the European Congress of Microbiology and Communicable Diseases, which began this Saturday (23) and continues until Tuesday (26). The entire study will be presented at the event.
A study by researchers at King’s College London and Guy’s and St Thomas ’Hospital in London looked at nine immunosuppressed patients who had a persistent viral infection between March 2020 and December last year.
All were positive for at least eight weeks and two over a year. Of the nine patients, 4 died and 4 recovered. A ninth patient had been infected earlier this year, 412 days after the first test returned positive.
“Immunocompromised patients with a persistent infection have little chance of survival, and new treatment strategies are urgently needed to stop the infection,” Nebbia said.
The aim of the study was to find out about mutations in the coronavirus in patients who have been infected for months.
“We wanted to characterize the evolution of the virus in these individuals, which may accumulate mutations during their ongoing infection. This is one of the hypotheses for the emergence of variants,” the doctor explained.
According to estimates released by the Statistics Office (ONS) on Friday, between the end of April 2020 and mid-February this year, 38.5 million people, or 70 per cent of the population, had Covid-19 in England.