Health

Coronavirus has Become Less Severe, says UPMC Doctor

Image: Los Angeles Times

After months of the outbreak of the novel virus, the number of coronavirus cases in most countries is finally decreasing. Fewer patients are admitted to the hospitals with each passing day. The transmission rate of the virus also seems to be reduced.

On Thursday, a UPMC said that the number of coronavirus cases is significantly decreasing. The infected individuals do not show as many severe symptoms as seen previously.

Dr. Donald Yealy is the chair of emergency medicine at UPMC. He said that the virus is now less prevalent than before. Reports show that the severity of infection is lower from the past couple of weeks.

He also said that the amount of viral load in coronavirus positive patients is lower. At the beginning of the pandemic a few months ago, there was a greater amount of virus seen in patients.

After hundreds of thousands of cases reported in the country, the decrease in the trend of infections is highly fortunate for the public.

According to the doctor, the demand for ventilators in hospitals has also reduced. This shows that there are less severe infections than before.

Yealy pointed out that this trend in mild infections observed in central and western Pennsylvania. The communities which are served by UPMC in Maryland and New York City also show less significant infections.

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So far, UPMC has conducted nearly 30,000 tests of coronavirus. Out of these, less than 4% came positive. Yealy said that UPMC has tested people without symptoms. The rate of coronavirus cases tested positive in such patients is nearly 1 in 400.

It is widely believed that most patients without symptoms spread the virus. These results show that contracting coronavirus from asymptomatic people is highly unlikely.

The observation is generally based on the fact that if someone is coronavirus positive and does not know about it. It does not come from the case when a person knows he is infected with the virus but does not show any symptoms. Hence, asymptomatic coronavirus cases are less likely to transmit the infection.

Yealy reassured that it is highly unlikely to contract the virus from an asymptomatic person who does not know he has the infection.

The doctor said that he is not quite sure how the prevalence of a reduced in the community. The reduced severity of the infection is also fortunate but absurd.

The factors that might have contributed include changes in weather during summer. The virus is also likely to go through a change in the genetic makeup. Moreover, people are more careful than before at the beginning of the pandemic. People are also making better decisions at getting themselves tested and treated for the virus.

Yealy said that 500 coronavirus patients are discharged from UPMC. Currently, the hospital is treating 100 coronavirus patients at their facility.

The decrease in the number of coronavirus cases is fortunate news. It also indicates that the outbreak is contained in major parts of the country. As the country is moving towards reopening the businesses, people are at a lower risk of transmission of coronavirus.

 

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Abeera I. Kazmi

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