Doctors have reported that a patient who had COVID-19 for 411 days is finally free from the virus due to a cocktail of drugs. According to experts from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London, and King’s College London the man, now 59, was unable to get rid of an early variant of the virus.
The man had a weakened immune system after having a kidney transplant which made him more at danger of death and serious illness from the virus.
He is thought to be one of the longest living patients with a persistent Covid infection.
Another patient who was treated by the same team tested positive for Covid for 505 days but subsequently died.
In the most recent case doctors noticed the man’s ongoing infection by analysing the genetics of the strain of the virus he was carrying.
He was then given a mixture of neutralising antibodies (Regeneron) which are known to work against early coronavirus variants.
This finally allowed his body to get rid of the virus.
According to the research published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases the man originally tested positive in December 2020.
Although his symptoms disappeared he continued to test positive spasmodically until January 2022.
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“We are still working to understand the best way to protect and treat them.”
Patients who have weakened immune system have trouble recovering, meaning the virus stays in their body for longer
This can give the virus time to mutate inside their body, potentially leading to the development of a a new variant.
Some experts believe this is what caused the super-mutated Omicron variant, which swept the world in late 2021.