72-year-old British man recovers after testing Covid positive for 10 months

Dave Smith, a 72-year-old man from Bristol in western England, tested Covid positive for 10 months, making it the longest recorded case of continuous infection, as per researchers.

Smith tested positive 43 times and was hospitalised seven times. He reportedly made plans for his funeral too. “I’d resigned myself, I’d called the family in, made my peace with everybody, said goodbye,”, the retired driving instructor told BBC television.

His wife Linda was quoted as saying by AFP, “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”.

Explaining Smith’s condition, Ed Moran, a consultant in infectious diseases, University of Bristol and North Bristol NHS Trust, said, “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.”

He finally recovered after treatment with synthetic antibodies developed by Regeneron, a US biotech firm. He tested negative 45 days after using the drug and about 305 days after his first infection. However, the treatment regimen is yet to be clinically approved for use in Britain.

The retired man, who had a history of lung disease and recovered from leukemia recently, said he is still experiencing breathlessness. Currently, he is teaching his granddaughter to drive.

“It’s like you’ve been given your life back”, Smith told BBC. His unique case is now being studied by Andrew Davidson, a virologist at the University of Bristol.

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