Active virus and super diffusers. The 5 unknowns about the recovery


Here we are. Friday we will understand if from June 3rd we will be able to move from one region to another. And if you can also leave Lombardy, which is currently the region most at risk and could postpone the “free all” of a couple of weeks. To say it will be the study that the Higher Institute of Health. But the unknowns remain many.


It is true that the contagion trend is decreasing but the key data to draw the real trend of the infection will arrive after June 3, once the decree is done and finished. These are any infections that occurred in the two weekends just past, those of the nightlife without a brake. To these must be added the contagions of the next weekend. The times do not coincide and the decree will be signed in the incubation phase of possible new infects.


Virologists are divided on a fundamental question: the strength of the virus. According to some, it has lost intensity and therefore it is more difficult to switch from one person to another. According to others this is only an assumption that has no scientific support. The fact is that, without a study showing the existence of a soft version of Covid, it is not possible to make an irrefutable decision. “The virus is exhausted by the effects of lockdown, by the heat and by the use of masks – says Arnaldo Caruso, president of the Italian virology society who, with his colleagues in the Microbiology Laboratory of the Asst Spedali Civili di Brescia of which he is director, he isolated an “extremely less powerful” variant of Covid. But he specifies: “This is not why Covid’s cases are less numerous and less serious.” Among the most cautious is the director of Infectivology of the Sack of Milan, Massimo Galli: «The virus is not weakened. The hope is that people who leave the house with the virus on them do not have a form that can be transmitted. But there is no scientific evidence to prove it “.


The data of the last few weeks, both regarding the number of deaths and the number of infected people, bode well. But two elements remain to be clarified: asymptomatics continue to act as healthy carriers and remain the preferred means for the virus to spread. Two: the super contagators are not gone. It had been mentioned at the beginning of the epidemic, then stopped. These are individuals capable of infecting up to eight people. Scientists call them the spreader. «One in ten or twenty can be a spreader or a super spreader

»Confirms Galli. Another fact that could be misleading: one of the parameters for deciding whether or not to authorize the mobility of a region concerns the percentage of places occupied in intensive care. “Right – explains Galli – but we consider that 80% of people have had a milder course of the disease and have not been hospitalized”. Each indicator will be compared to the others: in addition to the number of free respirators, the level of safety, the diagnostic capacity, the receptivity of the health system, the ability to isolate the outbreaks will also be considered. Parameters summarized in the Rt index which indicates the virus spreading capacity in relation to the measures adopted.

The massacre of the weak

Hospitalizations have dropped significantly also because the most fragile subjects have already fallen, say virologists, and this has influenced the improvement of the epidemiological curve. But many elderly people start dating these days and are at risk.


The numbers of contagions and daily bulletins on the progress of the virus should be read for quality and no longer just for quantity. It does not in fact have the same weight to know that a contagion occurred inside an RSA or in a square crowded with young people.

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