An anonymous reader quotes a report from LiveScience: A woman with COVID-19 in Washington state shed infectious virus particles for 70 days, meaning she was contagious during that entire time, despite never showing symptoms of the disease, according to a new report. The 71-year-old woman had a type of leukemia, or cancer of the white blood cells, and so her immune system was weakened and less able to clear her body of the new coronavirus, known as SARS-CoV-2. Although researchers have suspected that people with weakened immune systems may shed the virus for longer than typical, there was little evidence of this happening, until now. The findings contradict guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which say that immunocompromised people with COVID-19 are likely not infectious after 20 days. The new findings suggest “long-term shedding of infectious virus may be a concern in certain immunocompromised patients,” the authors wrote in their paper, published in the journal Cell. “The virus was detected in her upper respiratory tract for 105 days; and infectious virus particles — meaning they were capable of spreading the disease — were detected for at least 70 days,” the report says. “Typically, people with COVID-19 are contagious for about eight days after infection, according to the report. Previously, the longest duration of infectious virus shedding in a COVID-19 patient was reported to be 20 days.”
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