COVID-19 patients who were tested for the a virus at an Italian hospital in May had fewer virus particles than those tested a month before, a small study released last week found.
The researchers said the lower “viral load” could mean that the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, is getting weaker. But the researchers also noted that it is unclear what is causing the lower viral load. Advertisement - story continues below
“The researchers analysed 200 nasopharyngeal swabs taken at the San Raffaele hospital,” The Daily Mail reported. “Half were from patients treated in April – at the pandemic’s peak – and half were from patients treated in May.”
Based on the results, the researchers calculated that patients’ viral loads were higher in April. Patients swabbed in April also had more severe symptoms and were more likely to need hospitalization and intensive care, they found.