An unnamed Connecticut resident has been saddled with the COVID-19 virus for over 450 days.
The Daily Mail reports Yale researchers have pinpointed a lymphoma patient in their 60s who has been infected with a version of COVID-19 originally believed to be extinct. Upon further inspection researchers discovered that the patient had three different sub-lineages of the virus circulating in their bloodstream — indicating they are a vector for mutation.
The researchers' discovery has led health experts to conclude that the virus is mutating on immunocompromised populations before spreading to others. A preprint of their research has been made available on MedRxiv.
"Here," researchers write, "we investigate intrahost evolution and genetic diversity of lineage B.1.517 during a SARS-CoV-2 chronic infection lasting for 471 days (and still ongoing) with consistently recovered infectious virus and high viral loads."
The researchers also note that the virus had been mutating at a rapid rate which is unusual for typical infection.
"This chronic infection," they continue, "resulted in accelerated SARS-CoV-2 evolution and divergence, a mechanism potentially contributing to the emergence of genetically diverse SARS-CoV-2 variants, including Omicron, Delta, and Alpha."
The novelty of the situation differs from what is termed as "long-COVID," when a person feels symptoms of the virus after the infection has passed, because this patient continues to test positive for an active case of the virus at protracted length.
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