"ROME (Reuters) - The new coronavirus is losing its potency and has become much less lethal, a senior Italian doctor said on Sunday.
"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 coronavirus 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.
Italy has the third highest death toll in the world from COVID-19, with 33,415 people dying since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21. It has the sixth highest global tally of cases at 233,019."
I’m curious, how does a virus weaken? This is way beyond my expertise.
In addition to what @nick and @NYKfan stated above, another way to interpret a virus "weakening" is simply the fact that the human body has adjusted to providing defenses against it once it enters the body.
You have to realize that just because one virus might cause more damage than another kind, it doesn't have to mean that it's more powerful than the other. There's a lot of factors to it, which I'm sure geneticists, biologists, epidemiologists and other like-minded professionals can go more in-depth on.
Part of the reason why Coronavirus seemed so contagious and "scary" early on was because we have no pre-existing defenses since our bodies don’t immediately recognize it as a dangerous intruder. It’s like when our body allows things to enter, usually through the mouth or nose, and once it's inside the immune systems provide security and battle something that is considered "foreign" (meaning something established
as not good for you). Unfortunately with COVID, which is considered a "new thing", the body lets the coronavirus in without immediately recognizing its danger and once it does, it might be too late and you have it with the symptoms. Or, the immune system simply doesn't know what to do.
Even for asymptomatic people, the virus was inside them but over time, the immune system worked towards trying to combat it. And it took quarantining and social distancing to ensure that the virus wouldn't spread either.
There's no real way to tell, but I would not be shocked if there were actually TONS of people who had or have COVID that were asymptomatic. Remember, testing capacity early on was also very limited. Research studies have been conducted on it recently but frankly, the sample sizes are still too small and most of them don't account for March and early April.
Of course though, mutations occur with most viruses and Coronavirus is no different. It's possible though, as Nickagneta alluded to above, that it mutated into a state where it's not as contagious anymore even if it infects "the new host" (a person), and is also having difficulty replicating which means it can't spread as easily. Just like the common flu, it'll still exist though and until a vaccine or medicine arrives, social distancing and wearing face coverings as much as possible is the way to go. "The new normal"