A 72-year-old British man tested positive for coronavirus for 10 months. Researchers on Thursday said it is thought to be the longest recorded case of continuous infection.
Dave Smith is a retired driving instructor from Bristol in western England, he tested positive 43 times, was hospitalised seven times and had even made plans for his funeral.
"I'd resigned myself, I'd called the family in, made my peace with everybody, said goodbye," the British man told in media.
His wife, Linda, who quarantined with him at home, said: "There was a lot of times when we didn't think he was going to pull through. It's been a hell of a year".
Ed Moran, a consultant in infectious diseases at the University of Bristol and North Bristol NHS Trust, said Smith "had active virus in his body" throughout. "We were able to prove that by sending a sample of his virus to university partners who managed to grow it, proving that it was not just left-over products that were triggering a PCR test but actually active, viable virus."
Smith recovered after treatment with a cocktail of synthetic antibodies developed by the US biotech firm Regeneron. Results of a clinical trial published this month showed the treatment reduced deaths among severe Covid patients who are unable to mount a strong immune response.
He recovered 45 days after receiving the Regeneron drug and some 305 days after his first infection. A paper on his case will be presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases in July, saying that his is thought to be "the longest infection recorded in the literature".