A doctor from Italy believes that the coronavirus has weakened and that it could die out on its own without a vaccine.
However, many researchers do not agree with the claims of the Italian doctor.
Professor Matteo Bassetti, the head of infectious diseases at Genoa’s San Martino General Hospital, believes that the coronavirus is changing in severity and patients who once died from the deadly disease are now surviving.
During an interview with the Telegraph, he said:
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.
Dr. Bassetti said that the virus may have mutated to become less deadly, which means that it will cause lesser deaths than it used to when it first came out.
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.
Not only that, but the doctor also suggested that social distancing has a huge role in the patterns.
Dr. Bassetti said that stronger implementations of the social distancing measures mean that people are becoming infected with smaller doses of the coronavirus.
However, the claims of Dr. Bassetti are not accepted by everyone in the medical world.
Dr. Angela Rasmussen, a doctor at Columbia University, said:
The virus exists, clinically and otherwise, in Italy and around the world. SARS-CoV-2 doesn’t have the ‘strength’ it had two months ago because there are fewer cases overall and thus fewer deaths, not because it’s attenuated. There is no evidence that the virus is losing potency anywhere. There is less transmission, which means fewer hospitalised patients and fewer deaths. That doesn’t mean less virulence.
Dr. Seema Yasmin, an epidemiologist at Stanford University, said that the claims of Dr. Bassetti were complete “bullsh*t”.
That’s not it, we have another doctor that does not agree with the claims of Dr. Bassetti.
Dr. Oscar MacLean, of the University of Glasgow, said:
These claims are not supported by anything in the scientific literature, and also seem fairly implausible on genetic grounds. The vast majority of SARS-CoV-2 mutations are extremely rare, and so while some infections may be attenuated by certain mutations, they are highly unlikely to be common enough to alter the nature of the virus at a national or global level. Making these claims on the basis of anecdotal observations from swab tests is dangerous. Whilst weakening of the virus through mutations is theoretically possible, it is not something we should expect, and any claims of this nature would need to be verified in a more systematic way. Without significantly stronger evidence, no one should unnecessarily downplay the danger this highly virulent virus poses, and risk the ongoing society-wide response.
Let’s just hope some good news comes out for this deadly disease.