A patient with Covid-19 in the United Kingdom tested positive for the disease for 16 months until his death, the longest known case of infection, according to a study on the evolution of the virus in immunosuppressed patients released last Friday (22). .
The patient, whose identity has not been released, had the presence of the coronavirus in the body confirmed for the first time in mid-2020 and had respiratory problems. He remained positive in all tests (about 45) until his death 505 days later, study co-author Gaia Nebbia told AFP.
It is the longest known case of Covid-19 infection to date, according to a statement from the European Congress of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, which began this Saturday (23) and runs until Tuesday (26). The complete research will be presented at the event.
Conducted by researchers from King’s College London and Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London, the study looked at nine immunosuppressed patients with persistent infection with the virus between March 2020 and December last year.
All were positive for at least eight weeks and two for more than a year. Of the 9 patients, 4 died and 4 were cured. A ninth patient remained infected earlier this year, 412 days after the first test came back positive.
“Immunocompromised patients with persistent infection have little chance of survival and new treatment strategies are urgently needed to stop their infection,” said Nebbia.
The study was intended to investigate the mutations of the coronavirus in patients infected for months.
“We wanted to characterize the viral evolution in these individuals who could accumulate mutations during their persistent infection. This is one of the hypotheses for the emergence of variants”, explained the doctor.
According to estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released on Friday, 38.5 million people had Covid-19 in England between the end of April 2020 and mid-February this year, that is, 70% of the population.