‘Longest Reported Infection’: How Long Did This Man Have COVID-19?

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A man in the United Kingdom was infected with the coronavirus for over 505 days, according to health officials in the country. 

The BBC reports that the patient, who remains anonymous, died in the hospital last year and had other comorbidities. he was not hospitalized throughout his entire period of infection, and was in and out of care periodically for standard checkups and treatment. 

A study conducted by doctors and infectious disease experts at King’s College London and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust analyzed mutations and variants in those with continual infections. Nine patients with confirmed COVID infections were involved in the study and had tested positive for the coronavirus for no less than two months. All patients had other medical conditions and debilitated immune systems.

According to results, infections lasted for an average of just over 70 days. The longest known infection prior to the most recently discovered one carried on for  335 days, the Associated Press reports. 

It is important to note that Long COVID and continual infection differ from each other. Long COVID is a condition where symptoms of the virus persist for an extended period of time, but under the assumption that the virus has left the body. A continual infection of COVID means replication of the virus is ongoing.

According to broad estimates by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), around 8 to 23 million Americans are affected by Long COVID.

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