Muzaffer Kayasan, 56, was suffering from Leukemia when he first caught Covid more than a year ago.
Since November 2020, he has been in and out of hospital, but remains ineligible for the vaccine as he still cannot shake off the virus.
The New York Post quoted him as saying that he was 'more exposed to the virus' and "even a cat passing by the window can infect me.”
Doctors now believe he has Turkey’s longest recorded continuous Covid infection, saying this may be down to a weakened immune system from the cancer.
However, despite living with the virus for 14 months – and after 78 straight positive tests – Kayasan is not only still alive, but he also remains in surprisingly high spirits.
Speaking to Reuters last week, after finding out his latest PCR test was positive, he joked: "I guess this is the female version of COVID - she has been obsessed with me.”
Kayasan’s doctor, Serap Simsek Yavuz, infectious diseases and clinical microbiology professor at Istanbul University, said his case is the longest they have ever tracked.
Yavuz said it is also being closely monitored for any risk of a mutated variant.
Cagri Buke, a doctor of infectious diseases and clinical microbiology at Acibadem Hospital, said: “The case of a patient testing positive for 441 days is not something that has been reported until today.”
Turkish guidelines say Covid-positive patients must wait for a full recovery to receive the vaccine, meaning Kayasan is still unable to have his.
According to a study published last year in the New England Journal of Medicine, Covid patients with immunosuppression are at risk of prolonged infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome.
As Reuters reports, another by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society also shows that one in four blood cancer patients do not produce detectable antibodies, even after receiving two vaccine doses.
Kayasan, who has lost his sense of taste and smell, has spent nine months in hospital and five months mostly alone in his flat.
His granddaughter Azra has to stay in the garden while visiting, talking to her relative through the glass back door.
Kayasan has now appealed to authorities to at least ease his confinement.
His son, Gokhan Kayasan, said he has always been a ‘positive’ person - just not quite in this way.
"We kept saying how positive he is and now the guy turned positive (for COVID) and can't go back to negative," he said.
"He says he got stuck at the red light and can't pass that."
Featured Image Credit: Getty