Tags: Coronavirus | endemic | immunity | vaccine | infection

Expert: COVID-19 May Never Be Eradicated but May Be Controlled

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By    |   Tuesday, 13 October 2020 12:11 PM

A leading expert on infectious diseases says that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, will not go away any time soon. Instead, it will become endemic, according to Hans Heesterbeek, professor of theoretical epidemiology at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. An endemic disease, like measles or malaria, is always present in a population.

Heesterbeek, writing for The Conversation, said that even when vaccines become available “there is sufficient fuel for the fire to keep burning for some time.” When enough people become immune to COVID-19, either by vaccination or infection, the numbers will slow down, he said, but will not go away completely.

According to The Washington Post, while we can count on the persistence of the virus in the future, the situation will not be as dire as it is today. Experts point out that we have four endemic coronaviruses globally, including the common cold, and predict that SARS-CoV-2 will become the fifth.

“The virus is here to stay,” said Sarah Cobey Ph.D., associate professor of ecology and evolution at the University of Chicago.

“No measure of isolation is so strong that it will completely stop human interaction between regions, within and between communities, or globally,” said Heesterbeek. He added that if scientists develop excellent vaccines and treatments, the disease may become manageable.

“Eradication is notoriously difficult, even for diseases for which we have almost perfect vaccines and permanent immunity,” he told The Conversation. “Endemic disease is therefore the most likely outcome.”

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A leading expert on infectious diseases says that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, will not go away any time soon.
endemic, immunity, vaccine, infection
246
2020-11-13
Tuesday, 13 October 2020 12:11 PM
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