A new strain of Coronavirus discovered in China has raised fear of the virus lasting for 49 days.
A team of researchers led by Dr Li Tan, of the General Hospital of Central Theater Command of PLA in Wuhan, made their announcement on medRxiv, a scientific website on to which medical papers are uploaded prior to being printed and scrutinised by peers.
The Chinese military researchers found a middle-aged man who had the disease for 49 days, which is significantly longer than other durations of illness. Before now, patients who survived the virus normally tested negative after 20 days on average, with the longest previous case being 37 days.
The middle-aged man whose symptoms were mild during those times, continued to shed the virus and was eventually injected with the blood of somebody who had fully recovered, after which he shook the disease off.
The report explains:
“Interestingly, contrary to the conclusions above, we here reported one of the non-severe cases has the longest duration of viral shedding.
“The Case 1 only got moderate fever initially and the body temperature rapidly decreased into normal levels without any respiratory failure.”
The researchers who disclosed that the patient’s case might be ‘chronic’ (which could suggest coronavirus has mutated), also explained that the virus may have formed a ‘symbiotic relationship’ with its host.
They added that the information could point towards a new mild sub-type of COVID-19 which while not as transmissible, could be harder to eliminate.
The report further read;
“The Case 1 may tend to be a chronic infected case without infusion treatment, the virus and the host may even form a symbiotic relationship.
“We wondered how many patients are involved in this situation. One important question is whether and how long this kind of patients remains infectious.
“The other important question is whether the ‘chronic infected patients’ will infect through new route of transmission, such as sexual transmission.
“Moreover, due to the high mutation rate of retrovirus, we should keep close eyes on the status of this kind of patients and the infective ability.”