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Coronavirus viral load has been declining in US patients since the onset of the pandemic, a study has found



Levels of the virus that causes COVID-19 decrease in patients in the United States over time, which may explain the lower number of intensive care units and overall mortality compared to the time when the virus first arrived, researchers say. .

The study, conducted by researchers at Wayne State University and presented to the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, relies on nasal swabs taken from hospitalized patients in Detroit between April 4 and June 5. They then evaluated all samples that tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 during this time period and found a progressive decrease in the number of samples that were categorized as having a high viral load.

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“By the fifth week of the study, 70% of the positive samples had an initial low viral load,”

; the press release said. “This trend in initial viral load coincided with a reduction in the death rate. Almost half of the patients in the high viral load group died (45%) compared to 32% and 14% of the intermediate and low viral loads, respectively. “

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The authors acknowledge that confusing variables were not reported in their observations, but the findings suggest a link between initial viral load and mortality.

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“The exact reasons for the reduction in the initial viral load over time are not clear,” said Dr. El Zane, lead author of the study. “The downward trend in the initial viral load may reflect a reduction in the severity of the pandemic, and trends in viral load values ​​over time may be a marker for assessing the progress of the pandemic. The rapid implementation of measures to socially distance, block and widely use face masks may have contributed to reducing exposure to the virus. “


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