A new case study has revealed that a blood cancer patient in the US carried the coronavirus virus for about 105 days, “and remained infectious for at least 70,” without experiencing any symptoms of the deadly viral disease.
It is to be noted that majority of coronavirus infected patient shed the pathogen for about 8 days. The study published in the journal Cell said that it is important to understand how long people can remain actively infected with coronavirus as it provides new details about the virus.
“At the time we started this study, we really didn’t know much about the duration of virus shedding,” said study senior author Vincent Munster, a virologist at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the US.
“As this virus continues to spread, more people with a range of immunosuppressing disorders will become infected, and it’s important to understand how SARS-CoV-2 behaves in these populations,” Munster added.
The study said that the patient from Washington got infected with coronavirus very early in the pandemic and was tested positive for the virus several times over 105 days.
The researchers said that the 71-year-old woman was immunocompromised due to chronic blood cancer but she never showed any symptoms of COVID-19.
The researchers added that samples that were regularly collected from the upper respiratory tract of the patient found that coronavirus remained inside the body of the woman for at least 70 days after the first positive test.
“This was something that we expected might happen, but it had never been reported before,” Munster said.
According to researchers, the woman remained coronavirus positive for so long because she had a compromised immune system which prevented her from mounting a response. The blood tests of the woman showed that her body was never able to make antibodies.