Scientists reported that COVID-19 has been affecting a UK patient for almost a whole year. They are warning people to be careful.
Because not everyone is being tested on a regular basis, it is difficult to tell if this was the longest-lasting COVID-19 infective episode.
However, it has been reported as the longest-reported infection for 505 days,” Dr. Luke Belgadon Snell of Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation trust, said.
Snell’s group plans to present several COVID-19 “ongoings” at the next meeting of infectious disease in Portugal this weekend.
They examined whether mutations occur and whether variants are formed in people with chronic infections. The study included nine patients who had been diagnosed with the virus after at least eight weeks. All had weakened immune systems due to treatment of other diseases or organ transplants. We did not identify anyone for privacy reasons.
Tests showed that the average duration of their infections was 73 days. Two people have been infected by the virus for over a decade. Researchers stated that the longest confirmed case by PCR testing was 335 days in the past.
Continuous COVID-19 can be rarer than long COVID.
Snell stated, “At corona it is often assumed that the virus is escaping but the symptoms continue to persist.” It is a continual and active replication of the virus.
Researchers checked the genetic code of each patient when they tested them. This was to ensure that it was the same strain as the previous cases and that no one had ever had COVID-19. Genetic sequencing has confirmed that the virus has evolved over time and has been adapting to new conditions.
Snell stated that the mutations they received were very similar to those found in later versions. However, none of them gave birth to any new mutations that could be considered dangerous. They also did not transmit the virus to others.
The person who had the longest-lasting known infection was found to have tested positive for the drug remdesiver in early 2020. He died in 2021. Researchers did not identify the cause of death but stated that the individual had other illnesses.
Five patients survived. Two of the patients recovered without treatment. Two more were treated and are now free. One remains with COVID-19. The infection of the same patient was 412 days long at the last follow up earlier in the year.
Researchers are working on new treatments to combat the virus in people who have ongoing infections.
Snell said, “We have to be aware of the fact that there are people more susceptible to these issues like ongoing infection and severe illness.”
Experts say persistent infections are very rare. However, there are many people who are at high risk of severe COVID-19. They try to avoid getting sick even after restrictions have been lifted and masks are being taken off by governments. The study was not conducted by Dr. Wesley Long, a Houston Methodist pathologist.
“Disguise among the masses” is a thoughtful thing that can help protect others, he stated.
Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education supports the Associated Press’s Department of Health and Science. All content is the sole responsibility of the Associated Press.