Dave Smith, 72, from Bristol, tells of an experience including 42 positive tests and seven hospital admissions

Like thousands of people, Dave Smith became infected with coronavirus at the start of the first wave in the UK in 2020. But while most people, including those who suffer “long Covid”, eliminate the live virus from their bodies within a couple of weeks, Smith experienced a very different sort of long-term problem: a persistent infection lasting more than 290 days, or almost 10 months. This has been the longest recorded active Covid-19 infection to date.

During that period, Smith, 72, from Bristol, recorded 42 positive PCR tests and was admitted to hospital seven times. He said: “Whenever I went bad, I went really bad – down to death’s door. My wife started to arrange a funeral five times.”

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