Researchers in Britain recently helped cured a man who was infected with coronavirus for 411 days, according to a report in Washington Post. The details about his battle with the disease has been published in the peer-reviewed academic journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. The study gives details about the methodology used to help the patient become free from COVID-19. It also quotes the researchers who describe how the man was able to survive for more than a year with the virus inside him.
The patient in question is aged 59 and has not been named, according to the Washington Post report. The outlet further said that the patient had a weak immune system due to a kidney transplant and use of an immunosuppressant drug.
The condition is rare and is different from long COVID.
The patient contracted COVID-19 in December 2020 and continued to test positive for the virus till January 2022. The finally tested negative after genetic sequencing revealed the strain of the virus he had and the treatment required.
The healthcare experts were stunned and started investigating how this happened for so long. The investigation was led by infectious disease physician Luke Blagdon Snell of Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, which had been studying immunocompromised people to understand which mutations occur and if new variants evolve over time.
"When we looked at his virus, it was something that existed a long time ago - way before Omicron, way before Delta, and even before Alpha. So it was one of those older, early variants from the beginning of the pandemic," Mr Blagdon Snell told Washington Post.
The researchers found that treatments given to the patient were ineffective because he had a previous strain of the virus. But as soon as they found the new information, the patient was given the treatment made obsolete by the new variants, which helped.