One endemic is how many hope COVID-19 is heading. This means that there is a low level of acceptable disease.
ATLANTA – The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention casual mask guidance for about 70% of Americans on Friday. It has left many people wondering if we are so far learning to live with the virus that looks like the flu or the common cold?
The CDC said most people do not need to disguise themselves if they live in areas where COVID-19 hospitalizations, used hospital beds, and cases are low to moderate.
“The next step is to wait and see,” said Dr. Richard Rothenberg.
That’s what Dr. Richard Rothenberg, a regent professor at Georgia State University’s School of Public Health, said the medical community will do.
“There are three words pandemic, epidemic and endemic,” Rothenberg said.
He said a pandemic is when a disease spreads across several countries or continents and it affects a large number of people.
The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic on March 11, 2020.
“When we talk about something like an epidemic, we mean it’s recovering and we’re experiencing a lot of disease,” Rothenberg said.
An endemic that’s where many hope COVID-19 is headed. This means that there is a low level of acceptable disease.
“The infection, or whatever it is we are talking about, is embedded in the population,” Rothenberg said. “It’s there, and it can take a variety of forms. It can just be constant over a period of time. It can be in increases that are often seasonal, such as the flu. It can die out and recur.”
WHO weighed in this week, saying it is a gray area where COVID-19 goes from here.
Experts have recommendations for what you are encouraged to do when COVID-19 reached endemic levels.
“It seems to me that the answer here is obvious for how to get out of this to get to an endemic stage. We can only vaccinate ourselves out of this pandemic, “said Dr. Paul Offit, a member of the FDA’s Vaccine Advisory Committee.
Rothenberg added that people who are elderly or have underlying illnesses may want to continue wearing their masks.
“What we learned in the winter of 2021 was that if you wear masks, and a lot of people did that over a long period of time, instead of 50,000 flu deaths, there were 200 during that season,” Rothenberg said.
Fayette County Public Schools announced Wednesday it will treat COVID-19 as an endemic.
Those at the CDC urge those who are more comfortable to wear to continue doing so.