Several recent reports indicate that COVID-19 is weakening. Two reports this week indicate that COVID-19 might be weakening at an accelerating rate. Professor Massimo Clementi said that as SARS-CoV-2 ages, it becomes 100 times less virulent. Professor Clementi is the Director of Microbiology and Virology Laboratory at San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, Italy.
The virus measured in early March is much more powerful than the one circulating around the world today. He told El Mundo in an interview that several of his colleagues in other countries are seeing the same thing. The serious COVID-19 cases seen just a couple of months ago are decreasing.
Patients with severe symptoms used to be transferred immediately to ICU and then to ventilators. Ventilators are not being used with the same in-hospital care. Specialists in the United States and other European countries are confirming similar results. Professor Clementi intends to publish his study shortly.
In the United States at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Dr. Donald Yealy reports that virulence and infection levels among COVID-19 patients have been declining since late April. Dr. Yealy is the Head of Emergency Medicine at Pennsylvania’s largest health care system. He also mentioned similar results from Northern Italy.
There are some areas of the world where this decline has not been seen. South America is an example. The analysts are unable to say why some strains of this coronavirus appear to be in regression. Virus mutation is always a possibility.
We heard months ago that the virulence of COVID-19 was expected to recede when the weather got hotter. Maybe this is part of the answer. Maybe part of the gene sequencing has changed over time.
UPMC is testing all thirty UPMC Senior Communities for COVID-19. Not one of the 3,000 tested to date have been positive. Nearly two-thirds of Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 deaths were in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Pennsylvania has had over 73,000 infections and over 5,700 deaths.
Pennsylvania hospitals shifted priorities to address the immediate need for the COVID-19 surge. Almost all hospitals have returned to normal operations.
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