HIV+ Woman Carried COVID-19 For 216 Days, Virus Mutated 30 T
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The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has witnessed a number of mutations and now a new study has revealed that a woman with advanced HIV carried the virus for 216 days and accumulated more than 30 mutations. The report referred to a 36-year-old woman from South Africa. As per the study, the woman had COVID-19 for over half a year and was host to numerous mutations, including 13 in the spike protein which is responsible for the virus evading one’s immune response, and 19 others, which could change its behaviour.

The study sheds light on how erratic COVID-19 could become in hosts that have other long-term ailments which diminish the immune system’s ability to fight the virus. The study added that the mutations reported in the woman were not a result of the treatments being offered to her to fight coronavirus.

It said this provides support to the hypothesis of intra-host evolution as one mechanism for the emergence of Sars-CoV-2 variants with immune evasion properties. However, it also added that the experts are yet to find of the mutations that the woman was carrying were transmissible. The study noted that a person carrying HIV is 2.75 times more likely to die when infected with the coronavirus than someone with no co-morbidities, because of the immunity issue. But the woman in the case study was immunosuppressed.

It said that still, the impact HIV had on mortality was less than expected and well below that of other co-morbidities such as diabetes, although it was higher than tuberculosis, an analysis of the South African data done by Western Cape Department of Health last year showed. It also noted that about 7.8 million people in South Africa are infected with HIV, which causes AIDS, while about 300,000 have TB.

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