A coronavirus patient in the United Kingdom suffered from COVID-19 for about 1.5 years, scientists recently reported, according to The Associated Press.
Why it matters: The patient — who had a severely weakened immune system — might have had one of the longest stretches of a straight COVID infection. But it’s almost impossible to measure that, since many COVID-19 infections go unreported.
Yes, but: Dr. Luke Blagdon Snell, an infectious disease expert at the Guy’s & St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, told the AP that “it certainly seems to be the longest reported infection.”
Details: The patient’s case was explained in a study that reviewed how well mutations rise up within patients who had long COVID-19 infections. All of the patients in the study had weakened immune systems.
- Infections lasted about 73 days on average for these patients, per AP.
- Two of the patients suffered for two years.
What they said: “In long COVID, it’s generally assumed the virus has been cleared from your body but the symptoms persist,” Snell said. “With persistent infection, it represents ongoing, active replication of the virus.”
Meanwhile, a woman allegedly caught the novel coronavirus twice within 20 days, which is another potential record for quickest reinfection.
- The patient reportedly was infected by the delta variant in December before experiencing an omicron variant infection that came 20 days later.
The bigger picture: Both of these examples were reported at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases in Portugal, where scientists have unveiled new reports and findings of coronavirus infections.