COVID-19 Virus Found in the Brain: Autopsies Reveal Startling New Information

Medical Examiner Autopsy Concept

An analysis of autopsied tissue samples from 44 individuals who passed away with COVID-19 revealed that the SAR-CoV-2 virus spread throughout the body, including the brain, and persisted for almost 8 months.

An analysis of tissue samples from the autopsies of 44 people who died with COVID-19 shows that SAR-CoV-2 virus spread throughout the body—including into the brain—and that it lingered for almost 8 months. The study was published on December 14 in the journal Nature.

Scientists from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) tested samples from autopsies that were performed from April 2020 to March 2021. They conducted extensive sampling of the nervous system, including the brain, in 11 of the patients.

RNA and viable virus in various organs

All of the patients died with COVID-19, and none were vaccinated. The blood plasma of 38 patients tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, 3 tested negative, and plasma was unavailable for the other 3.

Thirty percent of the patients were female, and the median age was 62.5 years. Twenty-seven patients (61.4%) had three or more comorbidities. The median interval from symptom onset to death was 18.5 days.

Analysis showed that SARS-CoV-2, as expected, primarily infected and damaged airway and lung tissue. But the researchers also found viral RNA in 84 distinct body locations and bodily fluids, and in one case they isolated viral RNA 230 days after a patient’s symptoms began.

The researchers detected SARS-CoV-2 RNA and protein in the hypothalamus and cerebellum of one patient and in the spinal cord and basal ganglia of two other patients. But they found little damage to brain tissue, “despite substantial viral burden.”

“We demonstrated virus replication in multiple non-respiratory sites during the first two weeks following symptom onset.”

The investigators also isolated viable SARS-CoV-2 virus from diverse tissues in and outside the respiratory tract, including the brain, heart, lymph nodes, gastrointestinal tract, adrenal gland, and eye. They isolated virus from 25 of 55 specimens tested (45%).

The authors wrote, “We demonstrated virus replication in multiple non-respiratory sites during the first two weeks following symptom onset.”

They add, “Our focus on short postmortem intervals, a comprehensive standardized approach to tissue collection, dissecting the brain before fixation, preserving tissue in RNA later, and flash freezing of fresh tissue allowed us to detect and quantify SARS-CoV-2 RNA levels with high sensitivity by [polymerase chain reaction] and [in situ hybridization], as well as isolate virus in cell culture from multiple non-respiratory tissues including the brain, which are notable differences compared to other studies.”

Possible ramifications for ‘long COVID’

Senior study author Daniel Chertow, MD, MPH, said in an NIH news release that, prior to the work, “the thinking in the field was that SARS-CoV-2 was predominantly a respiratory virus.”

Finding viral presence throughout the body—and sharing those findings with colleagues a year ago—helped scientists explore a relationship between widely infected bodily tissues and “long COVID,” or symptoms that persist for weeks and months after infection.

“We’re hoping to replicate the data on viral persistence and study the relationship with long COVID.”

Study coauthor Stephen Hewitt, MD, PhD

Part of an NIH-funded Paxlovid RECOVER trial that is expected to begin in 2023 includes an extension of the autopsy work highlighted in the Nature study, according to coauthor Stephen Hewitt, MD, PhD, who serves on a steering committee for the RECOVER project. Autopsies in the RECOVER trial include people who both were vaccinated and infected with variants of concern—data that wasn’t available in yesterday’s study.

“We’re hoping to replicate the data on viral persistence and study the relationship with long COVID,” Hewitt said. “Less than a year in we have about 85 cases, and we are working to expand these efforts.”

Reference: “SARS-CoV-2 infection and persistence in the human body and brain at autopsy” by Sydney R. Stein, Sabrina C. Ramelli, Alison Grazioli, Joon-Yong Chung, Manmeet Singh, Claude Kwe Yinda, Clayton W. Winkler, Junfeng Sun, James M. Dickey, Kris Ylaya, Sung Hee Ko, Andrew P. Platt, Peter D. Burbelo, Martha Quezado, Stefania Pittaluga, Madeleine Purcell, Vincent J. Munster, Frida Belinky, Marcos J. Ramos-Benitez, Eli A. Boritz, Izabella A. Lach, Daniel L. Herr, Joseph Rabin, Kapil K. Saharia, Ronson J. Madathil, Ali Tabatabai, Shahabuddin Soherwardi, Michael T. McCurdy, NIH COVID-19 Autopsy Consortium, Karin E. Peterson, Jeffrey I. Cohen, Emmie de Wit, Kevin M. Vannella, Stephen M. Hewitt, David E. Kleiner & Daniel S. Chertow, 14 December 2022, Nature.
DOI: 10.1038/s41586-022-05542-y

30 Comments on "COVID-19 Virus Found in the Brain: Autopsies Reveal Startling New Information"

  1. Patricia Kaminski | January 2, 2023 at 5:42 am | Reply

    I have long haul covidid.I had it before they knew what it was.I had antibodies for a year.Hospitalized twice.No taste or smell 2 years,cramping in muscles,ear ache pain in various parts of body.Sudden pain in head at different times last from 10 to 20 minutes.Now have sore throat and can only squeak words.The pain is severe but I have very high tolerance.I need help but can find any.I sleep on my back so ear and shoulder pain are strange,my hands are numb in morning

    • Perhaps the problem isn’t Covid but you are mentally encouraging the long Covid reaction becuae if issues such as anxiety?
      More on Psychological Distress and Risk for Long COVID
      September 16, 2022 By 23andMe under 23andMe Research

      A new study by researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health confirms findings from 23andMe that depression and anxiety dramatically increase the likelihood of experiencing long COVID.

      Published online in JAMA Psychiatry earlier this month, the study found that psychological distress in the form of depression, anxiety, stress, and loneliness were more predictive than many physical risk factors like obesity, asthma, and hypertension, said Siwen Wang, the researcher in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School who led the study.

      “We were surprised by how strongly psychological distress before a COVID-19 infection was associated with an increased risk of long COVID,” Siwen said.

  2. I do believe your findings as misleading. 44 people, what about all the dead vaccinated people by the 100’s of thousands. You’re bulls*** so what.

  3. It’s been stated that metal particles have been found. Also the life span after covid injections is 10 years from the testing if mice. I have seen 4 people who I was close with have cancer to become very aggressive and the passed within months of receiving the covid shots and boosters. I’m not saying that they don’t help but we also did this so fast that the side effects was not studied. I feel that the world was a huge blind study between the people who got the shots and who did not.

  4. I received the first two COVID shots and the first booster (12-3-21). In October 2022, after decades of normal blood work tests my PCP informed me my kidneys were malfunctioning, my sugar level was a concern, my cholesterol was elevated and I was de- hydrated. I am, or was super healthy before the shots.I will soon be 71 years old. Doctors can’t answer the “WHY” question because they simply don’t know the answers about COVID ???

  5. After second set of booster vaccine’s I couldn’t control my body temperature I’d be cold when the house was 72 degrees realized I was wearing more layers of clothes having ringing in my ears blurry vision – lasted for a few weeks then begun to go away and then a lymph node on left side of my neck got large then I developed alopecia spots of hair loss on my head have 5 spots of hair loss on my head am currently going to a dermatologist who is giving my steroid injections on the bald spots on my head and hair growth cream to put on the areas hopefully hair will grow back we r gunny pigs for these vaccines no one can help there’s no research I don’t know what the answer is I don’t regret getting the vaccines I don’t want to get covid but I don’t want unknown side affects from the vaccines either.

  6. Wow! And to think that all these years I have eschewed any “entertainment” with a reference to the word “zombie” in the title, trailer or description.

  7. My son died from Covid Apr 2020. It destroyed his lungs. No vaccine then. My 86 year old mom wS vaccinated, boosted. She survived Covid and is well. The nurses in the hospital told her they were so glad that she got the shot. Other covid patients came in begging for the vaccine. It was too late

    • Vickie, I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing with us.
      Unfortunately, the majority of comments and stories available on the internet seem to be from a minority of the general public that invest much of their time and energy following conspiracy theories. Somehow, they seem to have more time than the rest of us to post their arguments and opinions in hopes that they can convince others of their beliefs. Perhaps it is just confirmation of the old adage, ‘misery loves company’.
      I, myself suffer an unidentified chronic autoimmune disorder/disease in addition to Lyme, ME and fibromyalgia. As a result, I had always followed the advise of my GP against my taking the flu vaccine. Her opinion being that there was a greater chance of my body not surviving it’s own reaction to the vaccine than contracting one of these influenza strains.
      Then the pandemic hit. When talk of a COVID vaccine began, I was one amongst that controversial group of ‘the immunocompromised’ that the medical sciences community where unsure of what to do with. Throughout this time my GP advised that when the vaccine were to become available, it would be up to me to decide – she would not advise one way or the other. As we know, the medical community did determine that immunocompromised patients should be among the first to be vaccinated. As such, I followed this recommendation regardless of my GP’s lack of opinion or advice.
      I was initially vaccinated in August 2021 and then February 2022. At the end of April 2022 I was hit with COVID. I was very ill and developed a nasty rash. I live alone and have no family or friends to help me so I just did my best to manage. Throughout my recovery I called to a health line available to the public and spoke to a nurse. She advised that because I am immunocompromised, upon development of the rash I should have called 911 for immediate transport to the hospital as I would definitely have been considered an “emergency” case. She pointed out that I was fortunate to have survived and credited it to my having been vaccinated. Much like your mother, Vickie.

  8. We humans are guinea pigs, I’m telling you!

  9. Vladimir Orlovsky | January 2, 2023 at 8:15 pm | Reply

    No such thing as ‘Covid-19’, (this is just a generic term).
    Q: What Sub Variants of virus where found in the Brain ?!
    Please be VERY SPECIFIC !!
    ~ Vladimir Joseph Stephan Orlovsky

  10. How come you never post anything about the people dying from covid after being vaxxd & boosted. So far it seems a 50/50 chance if you’re vaxxed or not. But facts speak louder than words Covid & it’s variants had, & still have a 98% chance of survival, where as being Sedated, intubated, & put Ventilator had & still has a 88% fatality rate & the 12% that survived the Ventilator, has long covid & die.

  11. I had acute Covid pneumonia I talk walk or see I admitted to hospital they wasn’t sure I was going to make it now my dr is saying I have long Covid I have really sharp pains in my head and I stay tired all the time I have muscle aches all the time I’m not sleeping good since I had Covid I can go to bed at 2am and wake up 3.40 or 4

  12. You think? Why I didn’t take any! Ran is right up there with dna!! Messing with what God created!! I see a zombie apocalypse coming!! What the heck is it doing to our brains?? I believe the virus is alive in the brain and body dead?? Can’t be good!🙏🙏🙏🙏

    • The vaccines are the government’s way of population control. This is scary business people. They won’t tell you what is in the vial of the corona virus vaccine! The inlet that comes with the vial says nothing but the words intentionally blank!!! What the what?!? Go to the browser and type in died suddenly. It will tell you the truth about the vaccine. The government has been lying to us about the vaccine so people will take it not ask questions get sick and die. They are able to get away with it because these peoples deaths are being ruled as other things not blood clots or blood fibers associated with the vaccine. Watch the video!!

  13. It’s bs. Covid is a bio weapon against people as part of population control from the elite new world order. Wake up!!!!

  14. I was in the hospital for 5 months with long COVID. Continuosly testing positive and slept three months. I had to be trached and was in feeding tube for almost the whole duration of my stay. I cannot speak and still have the trach. I’ve had many surgeries to stretch my throat. It will be a year in March since I’ve been home.i suffer everyday from severe PTSD since I coded 4 times during the whole stay. I know I’m lucky to be alive and I thank God everyday. But I’m looking for someone who can fix me please.

  15. To the first post of Patricia Kaminski: check yourself for activation of Herpes family viruses (they are 8). They do tend to reactivate after Covid and cause symptoms like yours. It may not be covid itself.

  16. I’m curious as to why these always seem to focus on no vax COVID cases. Where is the full data testing that would include all deaths so they we can understand ALL of the variables?

  17. The comments here illustrate the importance of studies like this. Everyone thinks they know things from their own “I did this and then this happened” experiences, while the scientific community is just starting to learn what covid is really doing to people.

    It’s unfortunate that regular people think they know more than the science community and they aren’t afraid to post their opinions online and have no fear of looking like an uneducated know-it-all.

  18. Corinne Christopherson | January 3, 2023 at 12:09 pm | Reply

    I have had Covid twice now, the 1st time was 01/7/22 it lasted for weeks I even took the meds that they said helped yeah the symptoms for the 5 days and day 6 right back and worse. I had it the 2nd time, 12/01/22 refused the meds this time it is now 01/03/23 and I am still symptomatic having pain on left side of head and face and ear my right lung feels like someone is pushing on it I often get severe headaches, but the doctor’s say I don’t have a infection so nothing is wrong, my oxygen level is a constant 92% and my blood pressure that until I had covid is 132/89, have been worried for a long time now.

  19. Patricia K, I hope you feel better. Man, you have been thru it. I think we should test incoming Chinese. No more variants.

  20. This article ‘SARS-CoV-2 infection and persistence in the human body and brain at autopsy’ by the NIH COVID-19 Autopsy Consortium, was received for publication December 3, 2021 and published online December 14, 2022. Almost one year later. Autopsy results of 38 persons deceased from SARS-CoV-2 disease.

    “35 out of 38 (92.1%) had either acute pneumonia or diffuse alveolar damage at the time of death (Supplementary Data 2). Phases of diffuse alveolar damage showed a clear temporal progression (Extended Data Fig. 6). Pulmonary thromboembolic complications were noted in 10 (23%) cases and myocardial infiltrates were observed in four cases, including one case of substantial myocarditis17 (P3). In the lymph nodes and spleen, we observed both lympho-depletion and follicular and paracortical hyperplasia…….Our results show that although the highest burden of SARS-CoV-2 is in respiratory tissues, the virus can disseminate throughout the entire body……A total of 61.4% had three or more comorbidities.”—in the article, ‘SARS-CoV-2 infection and persistence in the human body and brain at autopsy’, by Sydney Stein, and many others at the NIH and NIAID

    Why did it take one year for this report to be published online? Waitng for Anthony Fauci to retire? This report indicates that even though Covid-19 can cause severe respiratory problems, it can cause organ failures across all lines. The authors ‘Figure 1 | Distri- bution, quantification and replication of SARS-CoV-2 across the human body and brain’ indicates they used ddPCR (digital drop polymerase chain reaction PCR) and in situ hybridization (ISH) to determine the Covid-19 N gene counts of autopsied persons organs. Covid-19 N gene counts in a person, correlated positively to Covid-19 spike gene count. Autopsied persons P36 and P37 lower airways and lung parenchymas had 100K to 500K Covid-19 N gene counts per nanogram, early dates into their infections.

    The authors Extended Data Fig. 3 correlates subgenomic (sg) RNA copies per milliliter for autopsied organs, to qPCR quantification cycles (Cq) for each infected organ, and the predicted the cytopathic effect (CPE) of the subgenomic RNA copies. The lower the Cq, the higher the subgenomic copies per milliliter, and the higher predicted cytopathic effect.

    Autopsied person 18 right lobe superior 1,038562 subgenomic RNAs nine days after date of infection (DOI). Not a good outlook. By the NIH and NIAID counting subgenomic Covid-19 RNAs to determine cytopathic coronavirus effect, let’s just say they did it their way, for the better or for the worse. As, for the average number of subgenomic message RNAs per Covid-19 genome transcription in infected human cells, continue reading the article.

    Histopathic articles such as this NIH and NIAID that quantifies N genes and subgenomic RNAs do not perform blood analysis of the autopsied, should be read in the context of studies that do perform blood analysis of Covid-19 victims. The recent article, “Shared genetic influences between blood analyte levels and risk of severe COVID-19’, by Hamzeh Tanha, Anita Sathyanarayanan, and others observed,

    “Triglycerides, a cardiovascular disease biomarker, also showed widespread genetic pleiotropy with severe COVID-19. It has been observed that among hospitalized patients, patients with endpoints of death or ICU admission had significantly higher levels of triglyceride compared with patients who were discharged or had mild disease.48,49….. This finding strongly supports the use of lipid-lowering drugs such as statins and fibrates against severe COVID-19. A recent study examining the in-hospital use of statins observed decreased mortality in the statin treatment group compared with the non-statin-treatment”

    The NIH and NIAID sudy is OK. This latter study gives additional insight. Non-pharmaceutical interventions for Covid-19 severity are many, but must be taken early during infection, to supplement vaccination.

  21. This is the largest government and pharmaceutical experiment in the history of mankind. Every single person should have the right to refuse any medical procedure when one of the side effects is death. According to the VAERS numbers, thousands have died as a result of the vax. Initially, we were told, if vaxed we wouldn’t get Covid, then we couldn’t transmit it, after that we wouldn’t get sick and die. All lies! We the people are lab rats.

  22. None of your business | January 3, 2023 at 10:22 pm | Reply

    I got covered have not had the shot I don’t know if I’ll be getting a shot. My symptoms were headache fever chills but I don’t think you mad scientists know what the f is going on just yet seems to me it’s a 50/50 deal sorry if I’m stepping on somebody’s toes. What I find interesting is our president got all his shots and he still got covid explain that please freaking explain that xoxoxo

  23. The vaccination don’t keep you from getting it so why the hell is it called a vaccination?

  24. Govt dialed up the strength on the ventilators so they are operationg dialed up farther than indicated

    They are purposely suffocating people to fake their fake covid numbers

    Some hospital staff knew and were probably replaced but half probably know.

  25. I’m questioning all the people dying instantly at young ages several that Have no explanation and was vax’d and boosted. Several friends also vax’d because of employment demanded it now have lupus, rare cancers, MS and neurological diagnosis. My husband listens to a symposium of Dr’s that’s have seen muti-feet of blood clots in deceased people with no explanation and have never see this before. Just wondering if any of these people’s deaths are truly being investagated. Alls these reports, news casters, athletes and the Hollywood crowd. All of which have had the vax. I just wish someone in a capacity of interest in the American people would be honest and curious enough to demand the truth.

  26. Neta. Trachsler | January 4, 2023 at 2:10 pm | Reply

    Was aware of this so we take a survival chance with our people

  27. The comments here are utterly uninformed and ignorant. Read the article again, and listen to the doctors who know what they are talking about. Not a bunch of unhinged folks making false claims without any data or evidence to back up said claims.

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