OGN Daily has generally tried to avoid too much focus on Covid-19 because, let' face it, there's not much good news that goes with it. Until, perhaps, now. There's mounting evidence that suggests the coronavirus is much more common and significantly less deadly than it first appeared.
The evidence comes from tests that detect antibodies to the coronavirus in a person's blood rather than the virus itself. The tests are finding large numbers of people in the U.S. who were infected but never became seriously ill. And when these mild infections are included in coronavirus statistics, the virus appears less dangerous.
"The current best estimates for the infection fatality risk are between 0.5% and 1%," says Caitlin Rivers, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. That's a very substantial improvement on the previous 'guesstimates' of 5%.
And the revised estimates support an early prediction by Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a leading member of the White House coronavirus task force. In an editorial published in late March in The New England Journal of Medicine, Fauci and colleagues wrote that the case fatality rate for COVID-19 "may be considerably less than 1%."
A similar sentiment is shared by top doctors in Italy, according to Reuters, where they are saying that coronavirus is losing its potency and has become much less lethal.
“In reality, the virus clinically no longer exists in Italy,” said Alberto Zangrillo, the head of the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan in the northern region of Lombardy, which has borne the brunt of Italy’s contagion.
“The swabs that were performed over the last 10 days showed a viral load in quantitative terms that was absolutely infinitesimal compared to the ones carried out a month or two months ago,” he told RAI television.
Now, we just need more testing everywhere and, at the earliest possible moment, a vaccine.