“It was like an aggressive tiger in March and April but now it’s like a wild cat,” an Italian infectious disease doctor specialist has claimed. “Yes, probably it could go away completely without a vaccine. We have fewer and fewer people infected and it could end up with the virus dying out,” he added.
Dr. Matteo Bassetti, head of the infectious diseases clinic at the Policlinico San Martino hospital in Italy, said that Covid-19 has been losing its virulence in the last month due to genetic mutations, the Sunday Telegraph reported.
“The clinical impression I have is that the virus is changing in severity.”
According to the Sunday Telegraph, Bassetti’s comments came after the Health Secretary announced on Thursday that a deal has been closed between pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and Oxford University to begin the manufacture of a potential vaccine.
“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.
However, the expert in critical care has observed that “the picture has completely changed in terms of patterns.” Bassetti claimed that the plummeting number of cases could mean a vaccine is no longer needed as the virus might never return, the New York Post reported.
“It was like an aggressive tiger in March and April but now it’s like a wild cat,” Bassetti said. “Even elderly patients, aged 80 or 90, are now sitting up n bed and they are breathing without help. The same patients would have died in two or three days before.”
Bassetti stressed on the importance of quarantine measures saying “the virus has 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. We still have to demonstrate why it’s different now.
“Yes, probably it could go away completely without a vaccine. We have fewer and fewer people infected and it could end up with the virus dying out.”
The New York Post reported, however, another expert less optimistic about the prospect of the virus disappearing soon, saying it could take years. “I don’t expect it to die out that quickly,” said Dr. Bharat Pankhania, a senior clinical lecturer at the University of Exeter Medical School and a former Public Health England consultant
“It will 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. But because it’s so infectious and widespread, it won’t go away for a very long time.”