Dutch man tested positive for COVID-19 for 613 days before dying

Dutch man tested positive for COVID-19 for 613 days before dying

A man in the Netherlands tested positive for COVID-19 for 613 days before his death in October 2023, it has been revealed by Amsterdam UMC. Researchers from the hospital believe that the virus mutated within the immunocompromised patient’s body more than 50 times. 

Man’s illness was the longest COVID-19 infection ever recorded 

According to initial estimates, the patient had the longest-ever recorded infection of the COVID-19 virus. The man, who was aged 72 at the time of his death last October, reportedly had a weakened immune system due to other diseases, which meant that he contracted the illness and did not have a strong enough immune response to beat it in the way an uncompromised immune system would. 

Dutch broadcaster NOS reported that from the moment the patient was admitted to an Amsterdam clinic with a COVID infection in 2022, the man continuously tested positive for the virus for a total of 613 days until his death in October 2023. The man was initially infected with the Omicron variant of the virus. 

Mutated virus has not spread to other patients

Researchers at the hospital said that they do not believe the mutated version of the virus that the patient contracted during his illness spread to other people. While the patient suffered from the long-term illness, researchers were able to examine how the COVID-19 virus can change significantly while mutating within a person’s body. 

One concern that researchers had is the possibility that mutated versions of the virus could easily spread from the immunocompromised patient to healthy patients, risking the chance of a more serious or more contagious disease infecting doctors working in the healthcare sector, or even the broader population. "Such cases pose a potential threat to public health," the researchers from Amsterdam UMC told NOS. Thankfully, the researchers were able to prevent this jump from the immunocompromised patient from happening.

Thumb image credit: karegg /

Emily Proctor


Emily Proctor

Emily grew up in the UK before moving abroad to study International Relations and Chinese. She then obtained a Master's degree in International Security and gained an interest in journalism....

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