Man who had Covid for 411 days finally cleared of virus

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Credit: PA
The man is thought to be one of the longest living patients with a persistent Covid infection. Credit: PA

A patient who had Covid for 411 days was finally cleared of the virus thanks to a cocktail of drugs, doctors have reported.

Experts from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London, and King’s College London described how the man, now 59, was unable to get rid of an early variant of the virus.

He has a weakened immune system following a kidney transplant and is thought to be one of the longest living patients with a persistent Covid infection.

A previous patient treated by the same team tested positive for Covid for 505 days but subsequently died.

In the latest case, medics detected the man’s ongoing infection by analysing the genetics of the strain of the virus he was carrying.

He was then given a cocktail of neutralising antibodies (Regeneron) known to be effective against early coronavirus variants, which finally allowed his body to get rid of Covid.

The research, published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, said the man originally tested positive in December 2020 and, although his symptoms went away, he continued to test positive intermittently until January 2022.

The medics warn, however, that the emergence of new variants of Covid has meant neutralising antibody treatments are now largely ineffective.

Dr Luke Snell, from Guy’s & St Thomas’, said: “Some new variants of the virus are resistant to all the antibody treatments available in the UK and Europe.

“Some people with weakened immune systems are still at risk of severe illness and becoming persistently infected. We are still working to understand the best way to protect and treat them.”

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