“It was like an aggressive tiger in March and April but now it’s like a wild cat.”
In an interview with The Telegraph, an Italian infectious disease doctor said he believes the coronavirus could die out on its own without a vaccine:
Prof Matteo Bassetti, head of the infectious diseases clinic at the Policlinico San Martino hospital in Italy, told The Telegraph that Covid-19 has been losing its virulence in the last month and patients who would have previously died are now recovering.
The expert in critical care said the plummeting number of cases could mean a vaccine is no longer needed as the virus might never return.
“The clinical impression I have is that the virus is changing in severity,” said Prof Bassetti.
“In March and early April the patterns were completely different. People were coming to the emergency department with a very difficult to manage illness and they needed oxygen and ventilation, some developed pneumonia.
“Now, in the past four weeks, the picture has completely changed in terms of patterns. There could be a lower viral load in the respiratory tract, probably due to a genetic mutation in the virus which has not yet been demonstrated scientifically. Also we are now more aware of the disease and able to manage it.
“It was like an aggressive tiger in March and April but now it’s like a wild cat. Even elderly patients, aged 80 or 90, are now sitting up in bed and they are breathing without help. The same patients would have died in two or three days before.
The human body was not used to the coronavirus, but exposure helps the system build antibodies.
Bassetti thinks the virus “mutated because our immune system reacts to the virus and we have a lower viral load now due to the lockdown, mask-wearing, social distancing.”
The doctors “still have to demonstrate why it’s different now.”
It’s important to note Bassetti says it could probably go away completely on its own without a vaccine. No guarantees!
Dr. Bharat Pankania at the University of Exeter Medical School does not think the coronavirus will not “die out that quickly.” She stated that it could do that “if it has no one to infect.”
“If we have a successful vaccine, then we’ll be able to do what we did with smallpox,” Pankhania told The Telegraph. “But because it’s so infectious and widespread, it won’t go away for a very long time.”
Italy became an epicenter of the coronavirus in Europe. However, even after opening up in early June, the numbers look promising:
The latest data from Italy’s Civil Protection Agency, issues Sunday, showed 24 new deaths in the preceding 24 hours, the lowest number since March 2. The national death toll overall currently stands at 34,634, while the total active cases throughout the country stand at 20,972 as of Sunday, according to CNN. Despite the recent improvements, the county still has the world’s fourth-highest death toll, after the U.S., Brazil and Britain.
The number of people in intensive care is also down, falling from 152 on Saturday to 148 on Sunday, according to Reuters. A total of 182,893 of people have been confirmed to have recovered from the virus, Reuters reported.
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