The coronavirus pandemic which began in late 2019`s has seen many ups and downs with many new variants coming every month.
Coronavirus To Be Seasonal As Time Progresses?
With the latest variant – Omicron now being spread in almost all parts of the world, researchers state that the pandemic won’t be with us forever and soon could turn seasonal just like the Influenza virus.
Dr. Ofer Levy, who is the director of the Precision Vaccines Program at Children’s Hospital in Boston stated that 2022 might be the last surge for the coronavirus and thereafter, the summer and spring would be much better.
Winters would see a small spike in the infection rate and hospitalization just like the influenza virus however the new normal could begin with 2022 as per Levy.
However, since the virus mutates, there is no telling if there would be a much stronger variant in the development.
Dr. Arnold Monto from the University of Michigan stated that many of the researchers are confident that 2022 could be the last surge, but there is no way to determine this and make an official announcement.
Monto stated that one of the ways to reach endemicity is to have everyone take their vaccines and develop natural immunity against the virus. This would break the virus chain and will help it stay in the background and be seasonal.
Most of the researchers are also comparing the coronavirus with the influenza virus while studying statistics and are somewhat confident that if there are no more dangerous variants coming then Omicron would be the last of it.
Monto stated that the main issue that the virus causes are respiratory failure and this is more probable with seasonal viruses and are said to be stronger during the wintertime.
In winter the immunity of a person goes down which makes it easy for the virus to attack the host and develop within them. This is where the vaccine comes into the picture to keep up the immunity.
Monto also relayed that endemic doesn’t mean that the virus is gone from the environment it simply means that the virus is still present, but humans have developed a natural immunity against it.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and also the chief medical officer for White House, stated that there are various phases of the virus starting with the pandemic phase and then to the declaration phase.
After which comes to the control phase and finally the endemic. He stated that the government is now trying to reach the final phase so that even if the virus is not completely eliminated its presence doesn’t harm us.
Dr. Philip Landrigan, who is an epidemiologist from Boston College, stated that there is so much to be done and this cannot be done by just one community alone. The whole nation has to increase its immunity against the virus and for this, more than 95% of the people need to be vaccinated.
As per the current statistics by CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), only 62% of the population in the US have been fully vaccinated, while lower numbers have taken the booster shots. This is one of the main reasons why Omicron is spreading at a faster rate in the US.
The death rate in the US has crossed more than 800,000 since the pandemic began. Even though the number of cases is on the rise in the US, the death rate hasn’t been affected much as people are just showing mild symptoms. Most of the people are asked to stay in home isolation and are not required to be in the hospital after their checkup.
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