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Patient Dies Of COVID After Suffering For 613 days, accumulated over 50 mutations 

Visual Representation for COVID-19 virus

United States: SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for causing COVID-19 pandemic, can show a lot of mutations, recently health experts concluded. The announcement was made public after a man died after suffering from COVID-19 for as many as 613 days. It is known to be the longest case linked to the infection, and several mutations have been witnessed, which has puzzled the experts.

An elderly Dutch individual, whose identity remained undisclosed and is aged 72, received a diagnosis of the Omicron variant in February of the year 2022, as per information presented by Time, referencing a study conducted by the University of Amsterdam.

This stands as the lengthiest duration known to medical experts regarding a person’s contraction of the virus, as stated by researchers, according to the reports by the New York Post.

This individual, who was already grappling with a hematological disorder prior to acquiring COVID, demonstrated a failure in their immune system to generate a sufficient count of white blood cells or antibodies to combat the virus despite having received the vaccine on multiple occasions.

While the majority of individuals can overcome the coronavirus within a span of a few weeks, all endeavors by medical practitioners to alleviate the individual’s ailment proved futile.

Physicians swiftly discerned that the individual’s body had developed resistance to Sotrovimab—an antibody intended for the early-stage treatment of COVID-19—after conducting more than twenty-four nasal and throat swabs in their quest to procure suitable treatment.

Furthermore, it was observed that there was minimal development of an anti-spike antibody within the initial month, leading to the realization that the patient’s immune system was incapable of purging the virus from their body.

Subsequently, the individual succumbed to the virus within a hospital setting during the autumn of 2023, owing to their compromised immune system and underlying hematological condition, as mentioned by the New York Post.

However, researchers identified that the virus had undergone nearly fifty mutations during its persistence within the individual’s body, ultimately giving rise to an extensively mutated variant, as reported by the aforementioned source.

No indications were found suggesting that this Frankenstein-esque variant had been transmitted to other individuals.

Despite the ominous notion of a COVID infection enduring for a span of twenty months and undergoing mutations, Magda Vergouwe, a medical student affiliated with the Amsterdam University Medical Center, who is scheduled to present the case during the upcoming ESCMID Global Congress in Barcelona, remarked, “The duration of infection observed in this instance is indeed extraordinary.”

Vergouwe emphasized that prolonged infections among immunocompromised individuals are significantly more prevalent compared to the general populace. She stressed the potential risk posed by persistent infections, which may lead to the emergence of unique viral variants due to extensive evolutionary processes.

She underscored the delicate balance between safeguarding against the emergence of perilous new variants and providing compassionate end-of-life care to severely ill patients.

“We stress the significance of continued genomic surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 evolution among immunocompromised individuals who experience persistent infections, considering the potential public health ramifications of potentially introducing escape variants into the community,” Vergouwe asserted, the reports by New York Post highlighted.

Researchers analyzing genomic data derived from wastewater have also unearthed evidence suggesting the existence of heavily mutated coronaviruses among humans for a period exceeding four years, albeit unbeknownst to them, according to Time magazine.

Vergouwe elucidated that this particular case adds to the existing reports of patients testing positive for the same infection for a duration surpassing a year, yet she remarked that this instance represents the lengthiest case documented to date.

The previous record for the longest duration of COVID-19 was held by a British individual who battled the virus for a span of 505 days before succumbing to it.

Studies have indicated that 24.4% of adult Americans who tested positive for COVID-19 have experienced persistent symptoms lasting three months or longer, as mentioned by the New York Post.

Previous research has indicated that long-term COVID was more prevalent and severe among patients infected prior to the emergence of the Omicron variant in 2021, as well as among individuals who were either unvaccinated or experienced reinfection.

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