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Covid will never become an endemic virus, scientist warns


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Experts in biosecurity have warned that Covid-19 won’t become an endemic virus and will behave just like an epidemic.

Raina MacIntyre is a Professor of Global Biosecurity at University of New South Wales, Sydney. She stated that although an endemic disease may occur in large numbers, it does not affect the rate of change as fast as the coronavirus.

“If case numbers do change [with an endemic disease]It happens slowly and often over many years,” she stated via email. “Epidemic diseases, on the other hand, rise rapidly over periods of days to weeks.”

Scientists employ a mathematical equation. the so-called R naught (or R0)This is used to determine how rapidly a disease has spread. With experts from Imperial College London, the R0 shows how many people can contract a disease. estimating omicron’s could be higher than 3.  

MacIntyre stated that if a disease has a R0 greater than 1, it is growing exponentially. This means the virus is more common and there are conditions to make an epidemic.

“The public health goal is to keep the effective R — which is R0 modified by interventions such as vaccines, masks or other mitigations — below 1,” she told CNBC. “But if the R0 is higher than 1, we typically see recurrent epidemic waves for respiratory transmitted epidemic infections.”

MacIntyre said that it is the same pattern as smallpox, which was observed for hundreds of years. It is also still being seen with influenza and measles. This is also what we’ve seen with Covid in the last two-years, MacIntyre said. 

“Covid will not magically turn into a malaria-like endemic infection where levels stay constant for long periods,” she argued. “It will keep causing epidemic waves, driven by waning vaccine immunity, new variants that escape vaccine protection, unvaccinated pockets, births and migration.”

MacIntyre stated that we must maintain a ‘vaccine plus’ strategy and ventilation strategy to reduce R to live with the virus. He also warned of “new variants”

The WHO advised last week that the next Covid variant would be even more contagious than omicron.

Global Biosecurity is a Twitter account that represents a group of UNSW departments dealing with epidemics, pandemics, and epidemiology. It stated last year, “Display the waxing or waning pattern epidemic diseases”.

“[Covid]The organization claimed that it will not be an endemic disease. It is an epidemic disease, and will always be. The virus will quickly spread to unvaccinated, or poorly-vaccinated, people.

Are you experiencing a pandemic, an epidemic, or an endemic situation?

To make Covid endemic it must be endemic. according to the American Lung AssociationThis highlights the role vaccination plays in the virus’s transition from pandemic status to a stable state.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said last week that there was a chance that Covid could be ended as a global health emergency this year if the right course of action — which includes addressing vaccine and health care inequity — is taken.

The comments were made a week after another WHO official. warned that “we won’t ever end the virus”That “endemic” does not necessarily mean “good”, it simply means “here forever.”