“It’s going to be a lot like how we deal with the flu,” said Dr. Thomas Unnasch, accredited health professor at the University of South Florida College of Public Health.
COVID-19, which is currently in the pandemic stage, may soon move into the endemic phase, according to Dr. Unnasch.
“I think we need to move, maybe not right now, but I think within two months, we will be exactly at that point,” said Dr. Unnasch.
Dr. Unnasch admitted that variants have overturned his predictions before.
“We got the delta variant to get through, and I was pretty sure that after the delta variant we would achieve flock immunity. Now with the omicron variant, I’m really lost in making predictions about what this virus is going to do. do, ”he said.
Still, he predicts a day, summer or fall, when COVID-19 will be treated like the flu.
“You will go to your acute care center and they will run a quick flu test and a quick COVID test. If the COVID test is positive, you will get a prescription for Paxlovid. You go to the pharmacy, you take the pills and in 3 or 4 days you will feel better, ”said Dr. Unnasch.
A disease is in its endemic stage when it is still present in the population but does not disturb society.
“We are still at a really high level of hospitalizations and daily deaths, but there will be a rapid decline from that. We are fast approaching the definition of what an endemic respiratory disease looks like,” Dr. Vin Gupta told NBC News.
The White House Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anthony Fauci said the goal is not to eradicate COVID-19 because it is not possible.
Instead, it has enough exposure, vaccinations and boosters to get the levels under control.
“Either through infection plus boosting, either vaccine plus boosting, or just vaccine alone – these are the things that will hopefully get us to the point where we have antiviral drugs to be able to treat people at high risk – which we are no longer in a threatening situation – threat to our peace of mind, threat to our economy, the threat to allow us to live a normal life, “said Dr. Fauci during a recent COVID briefing.
In the end, Dr. Unnasch a Jurassic Park quote, “life will find a way”, to say that the virus can continue.
But, he said, humanity can finally have an answer to that.
“With the drugs we have now and the rapid testing, I think we will be in a much better position to deal with any other outbreak or variant that we have been until now,” said Dr. Unnasch.