A UK patient dies after 505 days of COVID-19 infection

A British patient has died after the longest COVID infection on record – having tested positive regularly for a staggering 505 days.

The unidentified patient, who had a compromised immune system, succumbed, according to Dr. Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust’s Luke Blagdon Snell after suffering “a run-through infection” that lasted almost 17 months.

COVID throat swab tests “were positive every time – the patient never had a negative test,” Snell told the BBC, according to The Times of London.

“And we can say that it was a continuous infection because the genetic signature of it, the information that we got from sequencing the viral genome, was unique and constant in that patient,” the doctor said.

Snell told the BBC that “at 505 days it certainly seems to be the longest reported infection”.

However, he conceded that “there’s no way of knowing for sure” because
“Not everyone gets tested, especially regularly like in this case.”

Members of the Covid-19 Bereaved Families Group Rally for Justice
Nine patients in the study had weakened immune systems, which contributed to their fight against the infection.
EPA/Andy Rain
National Covid Memorial Wall
Protesters who have lost a loved one to COVID-19 take part in a march from the wall of the National Covid Memorial to Downing Street in London March 2020. 29th, 2022.
AP/Alastair grant
NHS ambulance staff
NHS ambulance workers assist a patient outside the Royal London Hospital in London, Britain April 12, 2022.
EPA/Andy Rain

The patient, who has since died, was one of two people in a London study who had infections that lasted longer than a year, the UK Times said.

Another has tested positive for 412 days – with researchers saying they are likely to break the 505-day record if they survive, the report said.

The nine in the study all had compromised immune systems from organ transplants, HIV, cancer, or medical therapies. Their infections lasted an average of 72 days, the report said, four of which did not survive. A UK patient dies after 505 days of COVID-19 infection


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