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Man tests positive for COVID-19 for 14 consecutive months—and counting

By Brooke Villanueva Published Feb 16, 2022 2:15 pm Updated Feb 16, 2022 3:51 pm

A 56-year-old man from Turkey has tested positive for COVID-19 for 14 months straight.

Reuters reported that the patient named Muzaffer Kayasan—who has also been struggling with leukemia—has been in and out of the hospital for over a year. Included in the symptoms he has experienced in his COVID-19 journey is his lost sense of smell and taste. 

His physician Serap Simsek Yavuz said that this is the longest COVID case they have encountered so far. Cagri Buke, another infectious diseases doctor, also noted that “the case of a patient testing positive for 441 days is not something that has been reported until today.” 

Health experts connected his remarkable record with his “weakened immune system from the cancer.” A 2021 study conducted by the New England Journal of Medicine has shown that “coronavirus patients with immunosuppression are at risk of prolonged infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome,” according to the same report.

Research by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society likewise found that “one in four blood cancer patients do not produce detectable antibodies even after receiving two vaccine shots.” 

“I guess this is the female version of COVID. She has been obsessed with me,” Kayasan quipped.

Following Turkish guidelines “that say positive patients must wait for a full recovery to receive a shot,” he is still not allowed to get a jab.