Sunday, 05 July, 2020


New Coronavirus Losing Potency, Top Italian Doctor Says

WHO no evidence of coronavirus losing potency WHO no evidence of coronavirus losing potency
Bennie Garza | 02 June, 2020, 13:45

Mr Zangrillo stated the outcome pointed to "an extremely significant difference between the viral load of patients admitted in March" in comparison with sufferers admitted final month.

But WHO epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove and several other experts on viruses and infectious diseases said Zangrillo's comments were not supported by scientific evidence.

One of the hospitals in Italy that has borne witness to the worst of the pandemic says that it's noticed a marked change in their new patients: the virus inside them seems to be losing its potency.

Zangrillo said some experts were too alarmist about the prospect of a second wave of infections and politicians needed to take into account the new reality.

"We need to be exceptionally careful not to create a sense that, all of a sudden, the virus, by its own volition, has now chose to be less pathogenic", World Health Organization emergencies director Michael Ryan said at a virtual briefing.

A spokesperson for the Italian health ministry asked doctors not to confuse Italians until there was scientific evidence that the virus has disappeared.

It has urged people to abide by the rules of social distancing and to wear masks to prevent the virus from spreading once again.

Matteo Bassetti, head of the infectious diseases clinic at Genoa's San Martino hospital also supports Zangrillo's hypothesis.

According to officials, however, Lombardy in the north remains the most affected region, with 16,131 deaths and 89,018 cases even as it recorded only 50 new cases on Monday.

It is not unusual for viruses to mutate and adapt as they spread. "If we let the virus go, it will infect people and it will cause severe illness in about 20% of people", she added.

"We need to be exceptionally careful that we are not creating a sense that all of a sudden the virus has chose to be less pathogenic".

"We must be exceptionally careful not to create the feeling that the virus has suddenly, of its own volition, now chose to be less pathogenic", said Ryan, who has experience in epidemiology.

'That is not the case at all.

'It may, in some ways, have something to do with the dose and length of intensity of exposure, the Irishman explained. "It is clear that today the COVID-19 disease is different".

'It may not be that the virus itself is becoming less potent: it may be that we are, as a community, successfully reducing the number, intensity and frequency of exposure to that virus.

"On the face of it, the virus then looks weaker - but it may be weaker because we're doing better, not because the virus is weakening".

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