Update on the COVID-19 "Ohio cryptic lineage": Wastewater tracking shows that it abruptly disappeared

Back in June we brought you news about the COVID-19 "Ohio cryptic lineage"—we explained that a molecular virologist named Marc Johnson, who studies COVID-19 in wastewater, had detected high concentrations of an old B.1.1 derivative lineage and had surmised that the sample was all from one individual who had been infected for over two years. In June, Johnson had urged the individual to reach out if they might suspect they were the person in question, so that they could get medical help.

Today, Johnson posted an update:

Brief cryptic lineage update. The Ohio lineage abruptly disappeared in early June. I don't know what this means. There are ~8 other lineages that are being actively monitored, including 3 news ones we found last week. All 3 of those had more than a dozen RBD AA changes.

It's unclear what this disappearance means, and we might never know for sure. Commenter Christina Virgil sums up the two most probable outcomes:

Rose-colored-glasses view: All of your efforts paid off, by making them aware & they sought help from a doctor (but didn't want to be public about it) and maybe they started some type of antiviral therapy? Or had a portion of their bowels removed?

Reality view: they ☠️

I truly hope that this person became aware that they were shedding massive amounts of COVID-19, sought help, and fully recovered.

If you want to learn more about COVID variants and wastewater tracking, follow Marc Johnson on Twitter, oops, I mean "X."