International Well being Group mavens and a variety of different scientists mentioned on Monday there was once no proof to enhance an statement by way of a high-profile Italian physician that the coronavirus inflicting the COVID-19 pandemic has been dropping efficiency.
Professor Alberto Zangrillo, head of extensive care at Italy’s San Raffaele Health center in Lombardy, which bore the brunt of Italy’s epidemic, on Sunday informed state tv that the brand new coronavirus “clinically not exists.”
However WHO epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove and a number of other different mavens on viruses and infectious sicknesses, mentioned Zangrillo’s feedback weren’t supported by way of clinical proof.
There’s no information to turn the brand new coronavirus is converting considerably, both in its type of transmission or within the severity of the illness it reasons, they mentioned.
“Relating to transmissibility, that has now not modified, with regards to severity, that has now not modified,” Van Kerkhove informed journalists.
It isn’t abnormal for viruses to mutate and adapt as they unfold. The pandemic has up to now killed greater than 370,000 folks and inflamed greater than 6 million.
Martin Hibberd, a professor of rising infectious illness on the London College of Hygiene & Tropical Medication, mentioned primary research having a look at genetic adjustments within the SARS-CoV-2 virus that reasons COVID-19 didn’t enhance the concept it was once changing into much less potent, or weakening in any respect.
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“With information from greater than 35,000 complete virus genomes, there may be recently no proof that there’s any important distinction with regards to severity,” he mentioned in an emailed remark.
Zangrillo, widely known in Italy as the private physician of former High Minister Silvio Berlusconi, mentioned his feedback have been sponsored up by way of a find out about performed by way of a fellow scientist, Massimo Clementi, which Zangrillo mentioned can be revealed subsequent week.
Zangrillo informed Reuters: “We’ve got by no means mentioned that the virus has modified, we mentioned that the interplay between the virus and the host has unquestionably modified.”
He mentioned this might be due both to other traits of the virus, which he mentioned they’d now not but known, or other traits in the ones inflamed.
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The find out about by way of Clementi, who’s director of the microbiology and virology laboratory of San Raffaele, when put next virus samples from COVID-19 sufferers on the Milan-based sanatorium in March with samples from sufferers with the illness in Would possibly.
“The outcome was once unambiguous: an especially important distinction between the viral load of sufferers admitted in March in comparison to” the ones admitted closing month, Zangrillo mentioned.
Oscar MacLean of the College of Glasgow’s Centre for Virus Analysis mentioned ideas that the virus was once weakening have been “now not supported by way of anything else within the clinical literature and likewise appear relatively improbable on genetic grounds.”
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Professionals and representatives of Johns Hopkins College, Wake Woodland Baptist Clinical Middle, George Washington College and Northwell Well being additionally mentioned they weren’t conscious about proof suggesting that the virus had modified.
“The recommendation by way of the Italian physician is doubtlessly unhealthy because it provides false reassurance according to no proof,” mentioned Leana Wen, an emergency doctor and public well being professor at George Washington College. “There’s no clinical proof for there having been a metamorphosis within the coronavirus. It’s a extremely transmittable and extremely contagious illness. We want to be as on guard as ever.”
(Reporting by way of Emilio Parodi in Milan and Kate Kelland in London; further reporting by way of Carl O’Donnell in New York; Enhancing by way of Josephine Mason, Peter Graff and Grant McCool)