A new type of coronavirus can remain deep in the lungs of the recovered. This residual infection cannot be detected by routine tests, according to a study by scientists from Chongqing Army Medical University, published in the journal Cell Research.
Scientists investigated the case of a 78-year-old patient: she was hospitalized with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, underwent a course of treatment, and all three tests made before coronavirus were negative. However, the day after discharge from the hospital, the patient died of a heart attack.
Moreover, after recovery, the patient underwent computed tomography, which did not reveal any changes in the lungs. An autopsy revealed that the SARS-CoV-2 virus remained in the deep tissues of the lungs. Moreover, the signs of the virus were absent in the tissues of the liver, heart, intestines, and in the bone marrow.
“Our work provides the first evidence in the field of pathology about residual virus in the lungs of a patient in whom tests were negative three times in a row”.
Bian Siu, lead author of the study
Hidden strains of a new type of coronavirus can be found in the human body and do not cause any symptoms, the researchers conclude. This can explain the fact that patients who have recovered from the disease become infected again.