The scientists found that the coronavirus can be found in dead tissue after nearly a month. After conducting an autopsy of a COVID-19 victim 27 days after death, UK researchers found SARS-CoV-2 present in the lungs, despite taking nose and throat swabs samples after tested negative for this virus.
Researchers, write in BMJ case report, saying this finding “could have a significant effect on the handling of laboratory samples as well as the handling of cadavers and that these procedures should be revised to reflect this finding.”
The virus was found in the lungs of a man in his late fifties, who died of coronavirus after being admitted to hospital after cardiac arrest. His medical history said he was infected with COVID-19, had a fever and had difficulty breathing for 10 days – but cotton swab samples were negative.
Because of his medical history, a “limited diagnostic autopsy” was conducted 27 days later, and swabs were taken from his lungs. At this point, the virus was found.
“[This] The virus could be detected from dead tissue nearly a month later, the researchers wrote.
How long a coronavirus can persist in a corpse and whether it remains infectious in this state is unknown. In April, a case of an investigator infected by a dead victim was reported in Journal of Forensic and LegalBut the newspaper was later withdrawn because it was not clear if investigators had caught the virus from the corpse.
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In May, Matthew Koci, a virologist and immunologist from North Carolina State University, discussed how long the virus can stay in the bodies of deceased. In an interview with the university, he said that once the body dies, it cannot regenerate. However, it can remain infectious in the tissue for a certain amount of time, he said. How long this can last depends on factors such as which tissue becomes infected and under what conditions they are stored.
Preliminary research published in October revealed the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the victim’s eyeballs. This virus was found during the analysis of eye tissue from 10 donors who died from COVID-19. The researchers involved said the finding has important implications for donor coronavirus screening, although they say it’s not clear whether the virus can be transmitted through transplantation.
inside BMJ Understanding how long a live virus can persist in dead tissue is a “key piece of information” that has broad implications, from disease reduction to cadaver disposal, researchers say.
“We believe this is the first time the virus has been detectable in lung tissue 27 days after death,” they wrote.
“It is likely that … the virus still exists and exists in the body of the dead, so appropriate personal protective equipment should be worn when handling the dead person’s body and in the process.” autopsy.”
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