Patient Dies After Record 505 Day Battle With COVID-19

By Bill Galluccio

April 22, 2022

certificate of death
Photo: Getty Images

A patient in the United Kingdom died following a record 505-day battle with COVID-19. The unidentified patient first tested positive in 2020 and made over 50 visits to the hospital over the past 72 weeks.

Each time they were at the hospital, they were tested for COVID-19, and each time, the test came back positive. Doctors said that the patient, who was immunocompromised, did not have long COVID and was instead suffering from "one continuous infection."

"These were throat swab tests that were positive each time. The patient never had a negative test. And we can tell it was one continuous infection because the genetic signature of it - the information we got from sequencing the viral genome - was unique and constant in that patient," Dr. Luke Blagdon Snell told the BBC.

He was one of nine patients being monitored after continuously testing positive for the virus. Four of the patients, who all had weakened immune systems, have since died. The average length of infections lasted 72 days. Another patient has been fighting COVID for over 400 days and could break the record if they survive. They are undergoing antibody treatments, but so far, the treatment has not worked.

Researchers are trying to understand why these patients are not recovering from their initial infection.

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