This Region Of The Covid-19 Virus Is One We Can’t Ignore

In my last two articles, I went over the case studies of the London and Boston patients. Both were immunocompromised and persistently infected with Covid-19. Both also had, in the samples of SARS-CoV-2 taken from their bodies by researchers, mutations that arose independently, but were identical to those seen in new variants of the virus—a phenomenon previously documented by Jesse Bloom and his colleagues in influenza viruses. These cases and many similar to theirs, I argued, open up a window into what this virus has in store for us.

Which brings me to my next subject, one I’ll call the Pittsburgh patient, whose story was documented in a study published in Science magazine earlier this month. Prior to their positive Covid-19 diagnosis, this patient was being treated for cancer and, the authors of the study note, already immunocompromised. The Pittsburgh patient endured severe Covid-19 for about two and a half months before succumbing to the disease.

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Originally published on Forbes (February 17, 2021)

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