Covid-19 eventually to become seasonal: Researchers


A new study argues that Covid-19 is likely to become a seasonal disease similar to influenza, but not before a vaccine and greater herd immunity are achieved.
The new research suggests that SARS-CoV-2 is likely to be affected by the changing seasons in a way similar to other human coronaviruses and influenza.
In temperate regions, this would mean reduced infections in the summer and peaks in the winter. However, this seasonality is only likely to occur once a vaccine is developed and greater herd immunity is achieved.
The sudden emergence and rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it causes, Covid-19, have left scientists urgently attempting to develop vaccines to combat the virus and treatments for its disease.
Another key area of research is how the virus is transmitted from one person to another.
Understanding how the virus spreads is crucial, as it allows governments to enact policies that effectively limit viral transmission.
While policies have varied from country to country, they have generally involved maintaining social distance, washing the hands regularly, and wearing face masks.
This is because the virus can be transmitted on surfaces, through direct human contact, and via droplets expelled when a person sneezes, coughs, or talks.
In addition to transmitting through droplets from the respiratory tract, the virus may also spread through aerosols: very small droplets that are expelled alongside larger ones or that form when larger droplets evaporate.
Determining precisely how the virus transmits requires time and research. However, given the lethality of Covid-19, policy decisions need to be made urgently, based on the best evidence currently available. Making the best suggestions requires scientists to analyze emerging research on Covid-19 and past studies that have looked at similar viruses.
Doing so may also allow researchers to better predict how the virus will react in the future.
In the present study, the team pooled the latest research on Covid-19 and compared it with information about other viruses that affect the respiratory tract.
They did this to predict whether the novel coronavirus is likely to become seasonal — particularly severe in the winter in temperate regions — or whether it will circulate throughout the year.


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