Sick for 50+ days: Houston man tests positive for COVID-19 3 times over 2 months

HOUSTON -- Since March 19, Christian Bermea has been battling coronavirus COVID-19 from his Houston-area apartment. The 26-year-old said he tested positive for COVID-19 again on April 13 and May 1.

While he doesn’t feel as sick as he originally did more than 50 days ago, Bermea said Monday, May 4 he does still have some symptoms.

“I’m ready for it to be done,” said Bermea. “I definitely feel a lot better than I did at the beginning, but I’m still not at 100%. My smell isn’t as good as it used to be, fatigue, and shortness of breath.”

Despite not having a fever in several days, Bermea has continued self-isolation.

“Fifty-two days and counting,” said Bermea. “This virus isn’t just a physical process, it’s a mental one, too. You’re almost stuck with your thoughts. I’m scared because there’s still a virus inside me.”

KRIV brought Bermea’s questions to Dr. Eric Sandberg from Kelsey-Seybold Clinic -- asking Dr. Sandberg, if he thinks Bermea is still contagious without a fever, and 52 days after his initial positive COVID-19 test.

“A patient like this raises many questions,” said Dr. Sandberg. “A positive test does not mean you’re able to infect other people. It means you have part of the genetic code in your body.”

More than 30,000 people in Texas have tested positive for COVID-19. So far, roughly half of those infected are estimated to have recovered.

KRIV asked Dr. Sandberg if he worries about COVID-19 patients returning to their normal lives too soon.

“The way to answer that question is for us to find out how long someone can transmit the virus,” Dr. Sandberg responded. “I don’t think we have that information available yet.”

Bermea said Monday he plans to get tested again for COVID-19 later in the week. If the results are positive, he said he’ll likely wait another month before taking another test.

“Even if it comes back positive, and you feel like you can’t infect anyone else, it’s better to play it safe than sorry,” said Bermea.