Analysis of tissue samples from the autopsies of persons who died of COVID-19 reveals that the SARS-CoV-2 virus spreads throughout the body, including the brain, and persists for approximately eight months. The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) researchers examined autopsy samples collected between April 2020 and March 2021. In 11 of the patients, they thoroughly sampled the neurological system, including the brain. None of the patients were immunized, and all passed away from COVID-19.
Thirty-eight patients’ blood plasma tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, three patients’ blood plasma tested negative, and three patients’ blood plasma was unavailable. The median age of the patients was 62.5 years, and 30% were female. Sixteen (27 patients, or 61.4%) had three or more comorbidities.
The median number of days between the onset of symptoms and mortality was 18.5. According to the study, which was published in the journal Nature, SARS-CoV-2 essentially infected and harmed lung and airway tissue. In addition, scientists discovered viral RNA in 84 body sites and bodily fluids. In one instance, they extracted viral RNA 230 days after a patient’s symptoms started.
“We demonstrated virus replication in multiple non-respiratory sites during the first two weeks following symptom onset,” the study’s authors noted.
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