A covid patient in the UK gave positive for covid 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 on Friday.

The patient, whose identity was not disclosed, tested positive for the first time mid 2020 and had breathing problems. This continued to give positive in all the tests (about 45) until his death, 505 days later, Dr. Gaia Nebbia, co-author of the study, explained to AFP.

record so far

Is the case longest covid infection known, according to a statement from the European Congress of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, which is being held in Lisbon from April 23 to 26 and where the full study will be presented.

The study, conducted by researchers at King’s College London and Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, London, looked at nine immunosuppressed patients with persistent virus infection between March 2020 and December 2021. All tested positive for at least eight weeks and two did so for more than a year.

Of the nine patients, four died and four were cured. A ninth patient was still infected in early 2022, 412 days after first testing positive.

“Immunocompromised patients with persistent infection have little chance of survivaland new treatment strategies are urgently needed to stop their infection,” Nebbia explained. The study aimed to iInvestigate the mutations of the coronavirus in patients infected for months.

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“We wanted to characterize the viral evolution in these individuals that could accumulate mutations during their persistent infection. This is one of the hypotheses of the appearance of variants”, points out the doctor.

According to estimates from the British Office for National Statistics (ONS) published on Friday, 38.5 million people had covid in England between the end of April 2020 and the middle of February 2022, that is, 70% of the population.


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