Virologist hunting mystery COVID strain in Ohio wastewater suspects one individual infected for 2+ years

Marc Johnson is a molecular virologist who studies COVID-19 in wastewater and who has been tracking what he calls a "cryptic lineage" of COVID in wastewater collected from sewersheds in Columbus, Ohio. He believes that this lineage—an old B.1.1 derivative—is from one individual who has been infected for over two years. Through his research he surmises that this person lives in Columbus and travels to work at Washington Court House. The high concentrations of this lineage in the Columbus wastewater indicate, to Johnson, that whoever is carrying this cryptic lineage is shedding a high quantity of virus. In the most recent thread on this cryptic lineage, posted Sunday June 4, Johnson urges the individual to reach out if they might suspect they are the person in question—and says he's trying to help that person get medical help:

If you are the individual, let me know. There is a lab in the US that can do 'official' tests for COVID in stool, and there are doctors that I can put you in contact with that would like to try to help you.

He also explains that through this research he's trying to better understand how COVID infections spread and how to better treat them:

What's more, if we can figure out how these infections occur, and how to treat them, it could potentially help out a whole lot of people.

I'm absolutely fascinated by this case, and I've been following it for some time. I do, however, share some of the same concerns about privacy raised by Twitter user dr01d3tte, who commented:

As academically interesting that this is, I think there are SERIOUS privacy concerns you're flirting with.

Still, I think finding this person, providing them with medical help, and learning more about how COVID-19 persists in the body and spreads, are all incredibly important. If you want to follow this ongoing medical mystery, go follow Marc Johnson on Twitter.