A coronavirus patient was found to be infectious for 49 days


Chinese researchers said they found a rare patient who had contracted the coronavirus and appeared to be infectious for 49 days.
Previous studies suggest that coronavirus patients usually shed the pathogen for 20 days and can remain infectious for 37 days.
The researchers, who are affiliated with the Chinese military, warned in a preprint paper that there may be more such “chronic” patients with mild symptoms who could nonetheless spread the disease.
“The virus and the host may even form a symbiotic relationship,” said the researchers from the Army Medical University in Chongqing, No 967 Hospital of PLA, Dalian, and General Hospital of the PLA Central Theater Command in Wuhan.
The paper, published on Medrxiv.org last week , has not been peer-reviewed.
The researchers said that the patient, a middle-aged man whose symptoms were mild, appeared to have both a high load of the virus and a stable level of immune cells.
The patient’s body could not eliminate the coronavirus with regular therapy and he remained infectious for a long time, the study said.
The man was later treated with a plasma transfusion from recovered patients. He tested negative for the coronavirus two days after the treatment.
An elderly woman related to the patient also tested positive for the coronavirus and showed moderate symptoms.
However, despite the higher risk associated with her age and pre-existing conditions, she had a faster recovery and a better prognosis than the average of others her age.
This story originally appeared on Inkstone , a daily multimedia digest of China-focused news and features. Like what you see? Sign up for our newsletter , download our app , or follow us on Twitter and Facebook .
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