Corona virus, The case of Italy

with Walter Ricciardi, Ordinario di Igiene e Medicina Preventiva dell’Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore; Consigliere del Ministro della Salute per il coordinamento con le Istituzioni Sanitarie Internazionali

Far from being an unlikely and unique event, a so-called “black swan”, the Coronavirus epidemic was actually highly predictable: not only the world’s scientific community knew it, but also some important business leaders such as Bill Gates, who intervened in this regard as early as 2015. Italy was hit first and hardest by the pandemic, also in terms of deaths, because of the high average age of the population and the fact that patient 1 was a biologically and socially hyper-active subject, a ‘superspreader’ that infected no less than 630 people in a densely populated area of Lombardy.

What about the measures to be taken to combat the virus? Let’s not delude ourselves: it will be a long and patient battle before finding the vaccine. In the meantime, what we can do is to slow down the contagion and contain it through social distancing, looking for specific therapies that do not irreparably damage the cells. Communication by Governments will have to be careful, clear and selected: the danger of misperception is just around the corner, and not all the scientific world can talk about public health with competence.

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Walter Ricciardi
Professore Ordinario di Igiene presso la Facoltà di Medicina e Chirurgia dell’Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Roma
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