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WHO and other experts say there is no evidence that coronavirus loses efficacy


LONDON / MILAN (Reuters) -World Health Organization experts and a series of other scientists on Monday support a famous Italian doctor’s claim that the coronavirus that caused the COVID-19 pandemic is ineffective. Said there was no evidence to do so.

FILE PHOTO: World Health Organization (WHO) technical leader Maria Van Kerkhove will attend a press conference on the situation of the Coronavirus (COVID-2019) in Geneva, Switzerland on February 28, 2020. Reuters / Denis Balibouse / File Photo

Professor Alberto Zangrilo, director of intensive care at Italy’s San Raffaele hospital in Lombardy’s brunted Italian epidemic, told state television on Sunday that the new coronavirus was “clinically no longer present”. It was

However, WHO epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkov and several other experts on viruses and infectious diseases said Zangrilo’s comments were not supported by scientific evidence.

They said there were no data showing that the new coronavirus was significantly altered either in its form of transmission or the severity of the disease it causes.

“It hasn’t changed in terms of contagiousness, it hasn’t changed in terms of severity,” Van Kerkhov told reporters.

It is not uncommon for the virus to mutate and adapt as it spreads. To date, pandemics have killed more than 370,000 people and infected more than 6 million people.

Martin Hibbard, a professor of emerging infectious diseases at the London Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Studies, believes that a major study examining genetic changes in the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 weakens COVID-19. Did not support, or weakened in some way.

“With data on more than 35,000 whole viral genomes, there is currently no evidence of significant differences in severity,” he commented in an email.

Zanrillo, who is well-known in Italy as the former PM of Silvio Berlusconi, said his comments were backed by research done by fellow scientist Massimo Clementi, which will be announced next week. It was

“We have never said that the virus has changed,” Zangurilo told Reuters. “The interaction between the virus and the host has clearly changed.”

He said this could be due to uncharacterized differences in the characteristics of the virus or differences in the characteristics of the infected virus.

A study by Clementi, director of the Microbiology and Virology Institute at San Raffaele, compared virus samples from COVID-19 patients at a Milan-based hospital in March with samples from sick patients in May. Did.

“The results were clear. The difference in viral load among patients admitted in March compared to patients admitted last month was very large,” said Zangrilo.

Oscar McLean of the University of Glasgow’s Center for Virus Research said the proposal that the virus is weakened “is not supported by anything in the scientific literature and seems to be quite unlikely in the genetic basis.” ..

Experts and representatives of Johns Hopkins University, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, George Washington University, Northwell Health also said they did not know any evidence to suggest that the virus had changed.

“We are very pleased to meet you,” said Lenawen, an emergency physician and public health professor at George Washington University. “The proposal by an Italian doctor is potentially dangerous because it gives false reassurance based on evidence.” “There is no scientific evidence that the coronavirus has changed. Contagious and highly contagious diseases. We still need to be vigilant. ”

Report by Emilio Parody of Milan and Kate Kelland of London. Additional report by Carl O’Donnell in New York. Edited by Josephine Mason, Peter Graf, Grant McCool


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