After months of depressing news regarding COVID-19, here is some possibly good news. Many doctors across the world now believe this coronavirus might be weakening.
Doctors in Italy, Israel and U.S. point to data showing this virus is growing less potent, more diffuse and less deadly. If that’s the case, a city or state might experience more cases, especially with business and other activities opening, but it might cause fewer hospitalizations and deaths.
The statistics collected by the website Worldometers back up those beliefs. Even though the number of confirmed global cases has been increasing since the start of the pandemic, the number of global deaths has been trending downward since mid-April.
Matteo Bassetti, the head of the infectious diseases clinic at the San Martino hospital in Genoa, Italy, claims, based on cases treated in that country, “the strength the virus had two months ago is not the same strength it has today. It is clear that today the COVID-19 disease is different.”
Scientists at Arizona State University found a possible explanation. Based on samples from several hundred Arizona patients, the virus now infecting these patients appears to have had a gene deleted that reduced the strength of the disease. The SARS virus that caused an epidemic in 2003 was noted to have a similar gene sequence deletion as it became weaker toward the end of its outbreak.
These could be signs that this coronavirus will eventually burn out on its own without a vaccine to prevent it. But time and much more data will be needed to see if this best-case scenario proves to be true.