May 18, 2022

Image credit: NBC News

According to tests, the longest Covid infection lasted more than 16 months

Doctors in the United Kingdom think they have documented the world’s longest COVID infection: a patient they treated for more than 16 months, or 505 days, had measurable quantities of the virus. The unidentified person had other medical issues and passed away in a hospital in 2021. According to the London doctors, persistent infections like this are still uncommon.

The infection is usually cleared naturally in most people, but the patient in question had a severely damaged immune system.

Experts suggest that chronic infections like this need to be studied in order to increase our understanding of COVID and the risks it can pose.

Covid was initially caught by the patient in early 2020. They exhibited symptoms, and a PCR test confirmed the illness.

Over the next 72 weeks, they were in and out of the hospital numerous times for routine examinations and care.

According to the experts from King’s College London and Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, comprehensive lab research confirmed that it was the same, persistent illness rather than many instances.

Even after being administered antiviral medicine, the patient could not get rid of the virus.

Dr Luke Blagdon Snell is one of the doctors who will report the findings at a medical conference called the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

He stated that these were throat swab tests that all came back positive. A negative test was never performed on the patient. And we know it was a single, continuous infection because the viral genome’s genetic signature, the information we got from sequencing it, was unique and consistent in that patient.

Long-term infections are rare but important, according to the researchers, because they can result in novel Covid variants – albeit this did not happen in this case.

He was adamant that none of the nine cases they had looked at had given birth to a new dangerous variant. He went on to suggest that someone suffering from a long-term illness may not be contagious to others.