Longest Covid-19 case: British man tests positive 43 times

Smith tested negative 305 days after his first positive test result

Social Desk June 25, 2021
Smith Dave, 72, is a driving instructor and musician who's spent the last 10 months with an active coronavirus infection, visiting the hospital seven times. (Photo: BBC)

In a first, a British man tests positive for coronavirus 43 times, for 10 straight months, reported Khaleej Times.

Seventy-two-year-old Dave Smith from Bristol kept testing positive for the virus for 10 months in a row in what is thought to be the longest recorded case of the novel virus, according to researchers.

In an interview with BBC, Smith narrated his experience with Covid-19 and of being hospitalised seven times because of it.

His wife, Linda, said, "There was a lot of times when we did not think he was going to pull through. It has been a hell of a year," while Smith said that he had made plans for his funeral too.

"I had resigned myself, I had called the family in, made my peace with everybody, said goodbye," he told BBC television.


Doctors and consultants at the University of Bristol and North Bristol NHS Trust said that Smith had active Covid-19 virus in his body throughout the ten months he tested positive. Adding that it was the first such case they had come across since the beginning of the pandemic.

"We were able to prove that by sending a sample of his virus to university partners who managed to grow it, proving that it was not just left-over products that were triggering a PCR test but actually active, viable virus."

Smith’s treatment was not part of an official medical trial but his case is now being studied by virologist Andrew Davidson at the University of Bristol.

A paper on his case will be presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases in July, saying that he is thought to be “the longest infection recorded in the literature".


Smith tested negative after ten months, following treatment with a cocktail of synthetic antibodies developed by the US biotech firm Regeneron.

Results of a clinical trial published this month showed the treatment reduced deaths among severe Covid patients who are unable to mount a strong immune response.

"It’s like you’ve been given your life back," Smith said in the interview.


British government figures released on Wednesday showed that over 43.7 million Brits, 82.5%, have received their first doses of vaccine, and over 31.7 million, 60.3%, have received their second doses.

Britain also recorded 16,135 new cases across the country over the past 24 hours, bringing the total to over 4.6 million since the start of the pandemic. The UK also recorded 19 new deaths, bringing the total to 128,027.


While the rest of the world continues to fight the virus, Pakistan is witnessing a steady decline in daily coronavirus cases. Pakistan conducted a total of 49,285 tests for the virus out of which 1,490 positive results were obtained. The positivity ratio stands at 3.2%, the lowest since Feb 27.

The country's death toll climbed to 22,152 after 44 people succumbed to the deadly disease.

Meanwhile, 1,013 patients recovered from the deadly disease in a day taking total recoveries to 897,834.


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ


Most Read