The Latest: Does Covid-19 hide in the body?

Dear Reader,

It was previously believed that viruses either infected people for a short period of time (like the seasonal flu), or for life (like HIV). But as this story reports, Covid-19 is raising questions about how long viruses can linger in the body. While health experts say people are usually no longer contagious with Covid-19 after around 10 days of symptoms, some people who get infected continue to test positive for the virus for months. This story dives into the debate over why.

While issues like these add to the mystery of Covid-19, there are several things we now know thanks to science, like the fact that the virus can be airborne or that it can impact the whole body, not just the lungs. Read more about those learnings here.

One area of fascination is the people who want to infect themselves with Covid-19 on purpose, in order to help speed up vaccine trials. Would you get infected for the sake of science?

Here’s what’s new:

  • Case count: There are over 4.2 million confirmed cases in the U.S. and over 16.7 million confirmed cases worldwide. So far more than 149,200 Americans have died from Covid-19.
  • Some scientists are taking a DIY coronavirus vaccine: Geneticist George Church and at least 20 others have taken an experimental vaccine without the usual safety protocols. Read more.
  • More than 6,300 Covid-19 cases are linked to college campuses: A New York Times survey tied the cases to 270 colleges, and the academic year hasn’t started yet. Read more.
  • President Donald Trump shares Covid-19 misinformation: The president shared a viral video containing many false claims about the coronavirus on his Twitter account Monday night. Versions of the video have been removed from Facebook and YouTube. Here’s why the video is wrong.
  • Moderna launches a phase three vaccine trial: A volunteer received the first shot on Monday, and the pharmaceutical company plans to enroll 30,000 healthy people at about 89 sites around the country this summer. Read more.

Follow our Medium Coronavirus Blog for regular updates, and read some of the essential stories we’ve curated below.

Be well,

Alexandra Sifferlin
Editor, Medium Coronavirus Blog

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New on the blog:

Ask a Reporter: What It’s Like to Cover the Pandemic Five Months In

How is Canada Doing It?

We Can Eliminate Covid-19 if We Want To

Essential explainers:

The Mystery of Why Some People Keep Testing Positive for Covid-19

9 Things Experts Have Learned About Covid-19 So Far

The Latest Science on Covid-19 and the Eyes

This Year’s Flu Vaccine Could Be the Most Important One You Ever Get

Helpful reads about school reopenings:

Back-to-School Lessons From South Korea

I Spent 3 Weeks in School, With Kids, Under Covid-19

What Will Schools Do When a Teacher Gets Covid-19? (New York Times)

Here’s a few smart r:

One Man’s Quest to Infect People With Covid-19 for Science

Covid-19 Is Wreaking Havoc on LGBTQ+ Mental Health

Hygiene Theater Is a Huge Waste of Time (The Atlantic)



A blog from Medium for Covid-19 news, advice, and commentary.

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Alexandra Sifferlin

Health and science journalist. Former editor of Medium’s Covid-19 Blog and deputy editor at Elemental. TIME Magazine writer before that