Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, is it becoming endemic?
Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, is it becoming endemic?

Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, is it becoming endemic?


It is almost two years since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a worldwide pandemic on March 11, 2020.

We spoke to one of the country’s leading analysts to talk about what’s next.

Do you remember the Asian flu (H2N2) from 1957? Probably not because it disappeared in obscurity, like the SARS CoV-1 outbreak. It’s a possible end to our COVID nightmare, but not the most likely end.

How do pandemics end? That’s a hot topic right now as the COVID-19 battle seems to be endless.

Dr. Ira Longini, from the UF College of Public Health, suspected that we would still be dealing with COVID at this time, but did not think that everyone could have accepted that news at that time.

Dr. Longini knows this virus very well. He is a biostatistician from the University of Florida who specializes in modeling infectious diseases and vaccine efficacy. Thousands of different factors come into play in his calculations.

“It integrates vast amounts of data on humans, human behavior, movement, vaccines, viruses, variants, human immunity, history reveals two paths to the end of a pandemic: some viruses simply disappear. Never to be seen again.” said Dr. Longini. “At least from the human population. For example, SARS-1. SARS-1 did it in 2004.”

What is more likely is that COVID-19 with all its variations will be with us in some form forever. At that point, it becomes endemic or constantly circulating.

Dr. Longini explains, “The virus will find its way into that kind of pantheon of other viruses and become endemic and simply mix like other viruses, such as interpandemic or seasonal flu. There is a kind of baseline, usually the number of cases it causes, and it is relatively constant. over time. “

This endemic endgame could be as close as a year or as far away as a decade.

“It’s unpredictable,” he added, “but it can, you know, within a year, or after about a year, become endemic. It can become endemic over the next few months. But we need the clock and see if more varieties come up. ”

The quickest solution, Longini believes, will come from using vaccines and boosters. Along with appropriate social measures to deal with occasional outbreaks. To be responsive to a virus that is a master of reinvention.

As viruses are about to become constant, they typically spread easily and are less lethal. As we experienced with omicron.

But it is not a hard-fast rule. A new variant can be worse and cause more serious illness and death – all of which have not yet been told.

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