“The virus has lost power”, controversy over Zangrillo’s words: “No misleading messages”


The new coronavirus “no longer exists clinically” and “has lost its initial firepower”, so much so that patients are currently in less serious conditions and the course of the disease is lighter. To argue that SarsCov2 has changed its face, losing much of its virulence, are the experts Alberto Zangrillo and Matteo

But these risk being misleading messages according to the pneumolgo Luca Richeldi, member of the Scientific Committee, who warns: «The virus is still circulating and it is wrong to give misleading messages». And also for the Undersecretary for Health Sandra Zampa is “a wrong message that risks confusing the Italians”.

The debate was sparked by the statements of Zangrillo, director of intensive care at San Raffaele in Milan: “Clinically the new coronavirus no longer exists. About a month ago – he argued – we felt epidemiologists fear a new wave at the end of the month or early June and who knows how many intensive care places to occupy. In reality, the virus no longer exists from a clinical point of view. Someone terrifies the country “.

The director of the infectious diseases clinic of the San Martino hospital in Genoa Matteo Bassetti also claims that the virus is no longer the same, starting from his experience in the field. The virus «could now be different: the firepower it had two months ago is not the same firepower it has today. As a doctor who is on the field – he says – I say that the sick now are different from those of two months ago: before the patients had a much more serious condition, now less. In other words, it is clear that Covid-19 disease is different today, because its clinical presentation and its course are milder »and” for about 4-5 weeks, the patients we see are no longer as serious cases as in March and in April. “Precisely these facts on the ground, explains Bassetti,” make us say that the virus could be different. ”

The pulmonologist Richeldi invites caution and warns against the risk of underestimating the dangers. The virus “still circulates and it is wrong to give misleading messages that do not invite caution. It is undoubtedly true and reassuring that the pressure on hospitals has drastically reduced in recent weeks. However, it should not be forgotten – he points out – that this is the result of the equally drastic measures to contain the viral circulation adopted in our country “.

And again: «It is good to remember that viral circulation is a dynamic process, so the gradualness and caution in the resumption of economic and social activities must remain our priority. Especially in light of the reopenings of June 3rd ». Moreover, “it is enough to see how unfortunately the situation is very different in countries, such as Russia, Mexico or India, in which these measures have not been so effective and have not given the comforting results that we see in our country”.

It is early to draw conclusions also according to the scientific director of the Spallanzani Institute of Rome Giuseppe Ippolito. Fortunately in Italy “we now have fewer serious cases and this shows that the containment measures adopted have paid off, but at the moment there is no evidence nor any published scientific study that the virus has mutated”. Usually, he warns, “viruses will subside over the course of several years, but you shouldn’t be catastrophic or optimistic at all costs.” Now, “what we have to do – he concludes – is to monitor the situation day by day and never abandon prudence”.

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