He was ill with coronavirus for 613 days: 72-year-old Dutchman sets 'grim record' - media

Anna PaskevychSociety
The man contracted COVID back in February 2022. Source: Pixabay

In the Netherlands, a 72-year-old man has set a world record for the longest coronavirus illness. He suffered from the disease for 613 days, survived 50 mutations of COVID-19, and eventually, unfortunately, died.

This was reported by the British newspaper Daily Star. The man contracted COVID back in February 2022.

According to scientists, the virus has mutated about 50 times during the disease, and people with weakened immune systems, like this Dutchman, are ideal incubators for new deadly strains.

Although there have been several cases of people carrying the virus for hundreds of days, the 72-year-old man is recognized to have had the longest infection, the article says.

He was hospitalized at the University of Amsterdam Medical Center in February 2022, presumably with the Omicron strain. The man had previously undergone a stem cell transplant, which classified him as immunocompromised.

The pensioner's condition was also complicated by the development of post-transplant lymphoma, for which he received targeted cancer drugs that deplete all available B cells, including those responsible for producing antibodies to COVID.

Although the patient had received several coronavirus vaccinations, he did not have a detectable reaction to the antibodies during his hospitalization. He was prescribed additional treatment, including an antibody against SARS-CoV-2 called sotrovimab, an antibody against IL6 called sarilumab, and dexamethasone, but there was no clinical response.

Doctors found that the virus had developed a resistance mutation to sotrovimab as early as 21 days after receiving the antibodies. There was also minimal development of antibodies against the adhesion virus during the first month, indicating that the man's immune system could not clear him of the virus.

This prolonged illness led to a new, immune-resistant variant of the virus due to its long evolution in the body.

Unfortunately, the man eventually succumbed to a relapse of the disease in his blood. According to the researchers, he remained Covid-positive with a high viral load for 613 days.

Fortunately, the mutated variant was not passed on to anyone else.

Infection for a year and eight months resulted in the patient having to stay in isolation for a long time and use protective equipment, which, according to the researchers, significantly reduced the man's quality of life in his last days.

Tests showed that his virus had made 50 mutations.

According to doctors, people with normal immunity usually recover from the coronavirus in a few days or weeks, but patients with weakened immune systems can develop a persistent infection with prolonged replication and evolution of the virus.

According to scientists, the Omicron strain originated in a person with a weakened immune system, which emphasizes the need for close monitoring of such patients.

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