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A cancer survivor had the longest documented COVID-19 infection. Here’s what scientists learned


Still Waters
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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

The 47-year-old woman couldn’t shake her cough and shortness of breath, baffling Veronique Nussenblatt, an infectious disease specialist at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Her patient had been hospitalized at NIH with COVID-19 in spring 2020; as summer turned to fall and fall to winter, the woman should have mostly recovered. But she continued to need supplemental oxygen at home. “Sometimes she felt better, sometimes she felt worse,” Nussenblatt says.

Repeated COVID-19 tests were positive for the virus, but barely. Nussenblatt and other doctors assumed they were picking up nonviable viral fragments, as has been documented in other people after a bout with COVID-19. In fact, the woman’s medical ordeal, lasting nearly 1 year, turned out to be a unique case study in how long an active infection can endure, and how the virus can evolve inside one person’s body.

https://www.science.org/content/article/cancer-survivor-had-longest-documented-covid-19-infection-here-s-what-scientists-learned

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