A recent article siting Italian doctors implies that the corona virus that is circulating now is “weaker” than what we were seeing just 2 months ago.
“In reality, the virus clinically no longer exists in Italy,” said Alberto Zangrillo, the head of the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan in the northern region of Lombardy, which has borne the brunt of Italy’s coronavirus contagion.
“The swabs that were performed over the last 10 days showed a viral load in quantitative terms that was absolutely infinitesimal compared to the ones carried out a month or two months ago,” he told RAI television.
In doctor speak “clinically no longer exists” means that doctors are not seeing (any?) new “ill” people with the virus. It DOESN’T mean the virus doesn’t exist or in and of itself is weaker.
They are still seeing virus detectable in patients’ nasal swabs. Perhaps it’s at too low of a level to cause illness. This is not clear.
A second doctor from northern Italy told the national ANSA news agency that he was also seeing the coronavirus weaken. “The strength the virus had two months ago is not the same strength it has today,” said Matteo Bassetti, head of the infectious diseases clinic at the San Martino hospital in the city of Genoa.
“It is clear that today the COVID-19 disease is different.”
The second doctor mentions that the “strength of the virus” is not the same as before.
Be careful about over-interpreting this phrase.
There are at least two possibilities:
- The recent strain of COVID-19 is weaker than those we were seeing 2 months ago
- The people are stronger. In other words there are some immune system factors in the patients that do not allow the virus to manifest clinically as “illness.”
It does not mean the virus has disappeared.
When a doctor says “clinically no longer exists, that means the phenomenon of COVID-19 “illness” does not exist now. It doesn’t mean that virus has gone away.
“Illness” is a phenomenon that involves an interaction between virus and human.
The only thing that will clarify whether the COVID-19 illness will return in the coming months is time.