Chinese scientists have raised the possibility that the corona virus might have a new, slightly more harmful variant, but in patients longer, based on an unusual “chronic” Covid-19 infection.
The results of the above study, if accurate, will have a great impact on the fight against epidemics. Scientists warn that there may be such “chronic” incubators in the community and able to spread the disease to others for a long time, possibly causing new outbreaks, according to South. China Morning Post.
The unusual patient is a middle-aged man who has no severe symptoms, but is infected for a very long time of 49 days.
It seems that this patient is “in balance” with the virus, when the viral load in the body is quite high, but at the same time the immune indicators remain stable.
“The virus and the patient’s body may even have formed a symbiotic relationship,” according to a team from Chongqing Military Medical University, Chinese Army 967 Hospital in Dalian, and Da Hospital. Department of Military Affairs in Wuhan.
The patient’s body cannot get rid of the corona virus with conventional treatment regimens, and he can still infect others. Finally, he received a plasma from a patient who was cured. A nasal and throat fluid test showed negative two days later.
This is the longest viral infection for a patient who has passed Covid-19. Previous clinical investigations showed that the median infection time for patients recovered from the disease was 20 days, the longest was 37 days. Often the longer the case, the more severe the case.
This man only had a mild fever, did not cough, felt cold, had difficulty breathing or had other symptoms of Covid-19. A CT scan shows areas of the lung that are inflamed, but disappear just a few days after admission, while the body temperature returns to normal.
The RNA test is still positive and the viral load is high, similar to the severe patient, the patient is able to spread to others.
“So this case could have been a chronic case if it hadn’t been cured by plasma infusion,” the researchers said.
An elderly woman who was a relative of the patient was also positive for Covid-19. Despite her high risk due to age and background disease, she recovered faster than her peers. There were no other positive cases among those who had close contact with family.
The scientists said the information could be a sign that there are new variants of the virus, causing less harm and more difficult to spread, but will last, hard to cure.
They warned there could be more such “chronic viral patients”, often ignored because of the mild symptoms, but can still infect others and cause new outbreaks.