Home » Dutch man died after having corona for 613 days: virus mutated more than fifty times

Dutch man died after having corona for 613 days: virus mutated more than fifty times

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© ANP / Manon Bruininga

In the Netherlands, a 72-year-old man died at the end of last year after being infected with the coronavirus for 613 days. This is evident from a released research report by the Amsterdam University Medical Centers, the results of which will be presented next week at a medical conference in Barcelona.

It would immediately be the longest corona infection ever. Despite his vaccination, the man contracted the Omicron variant of the coronavirus in February 2022 and was admitted to hospital.

The treating doctors tried to control the virus with antibodies sotrovimab, sarilumab and dexamethasone. However, his weakened immune system failed to defeat the virus, allowing it to remain in his bloodstream: this allowed the virus to mutate more than fifty times in those 613 days. Research shows that the virus mutated after 21 days into a variant that was immune to sotrovimab.

To prevent the mutations from infecting visitors or hospital staff, the man was isolated for a longer period of time. Scientists took several samples of this rare mutation and were able to study them extensively, allowing them to detect the new variant. A variant that was difficult to treat.

Dangerous connection

The results of the study will be presented next week at the SCMID Global Congress in the Spanish city of Barcelona, ​​an annual conference that brings together specialists in clinical microbiology and infectious diseases.

Scientists are using the research to once again point out the dangerous link between long-term corona infections and patients with a weakened immune system. They therefore emphatically request that patients in whom the virus has the opportunity to mutate be closely monitored, with a view to public health.

According to the researchers, the Dutch man never transmitted the corona variant to others. He died in the fall of 2023 from an underlying condition and not from the virus. At the time of his death he was still infected.

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