BOSTON – A 45-year-old man who suffered from a severe autoimmune disorder had an active coronavirus infection that lasted for five months, and the virus mutated several times inside his body before he ultimately passed away.
The case has drawn attention from researchers about COVID-19 in immunocompromised individuals, and the potential role similar scenarios could have played in emerging coronavirus variants.
Last spring, the man went to Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston for treatment of COVID-19. The case was highlighted in a paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine, which described his battle with the virus for 154 days. He was readmitted to the hospital several times over the five-month period for the recurrence of his infection. He was treated with multiple courses of antiviral medication remdesivir and once with Regeneron’s experimental antibody drug.
Some people with COVID-19 have continued to suffer from persistent symptoms for weeks or even months after the virus has cleared their body, often called “long haulers.” But that’s not what happened here.
“The patient that we studied had detectable, high levels of virus for five months,” said Dr. Jonathan Li, an infectious disease physician at Harvard Medical School. Li runs a virology laboratory and studied the man’s case.
“This was a highly unusual situation,” he added.
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Source: Fox 5