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Case report of virus found in blood of recovered COVID-19 patient is puzzling.

SARS-COV-2 EM photo courtesy NIAID

This patient, who had mild symptoms of body aches and sore throat without fever in March and was not tested, presented on April 23 to donate blood and was found to have both antibodies to SARS-COV-2 and viremia on a very sensitive antigen test. He had no antigen on a nasopharyngeal swab test taken after the viremia was found.

The case was reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine on July 17. The finding is particularly puzzling because viremia is unusual in previously published reports of acute cases. Only a minority of acutely ill patients were found to have virus in their bloodstreams.

The case report’s discussion states that the finding was unlikely to be a false positive because they found positive results for two different parts of the virus at low levels. The patient was unlikely to be infectious because of the low levels found; however, the blood bank has decided to lengthen its deferral period from 28 to 56 days after resolution of symptoms.

This is just another puzzling finding to add to all the other odd things that we have learned about this virus. I don’t have any explanations or even speculation to add.

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