Will Corona virus stay with us forever? … the experts: 75% “yes”


More than a year after the start of the emerging corona virus pandemic, and despite effective vaccines against it and the decrease in the number of cases in some countries, the question remains about the possibility of the viruss survival in the future.

The Al-Hurra website quoted the “sciencealert” website, which specializes in publishing scientific studies and research, which posed a question about the possibility of it “settling” in some areas? And 75% of the epidemiologists who spoke to the site answered “Yes”.

And the endurance of the virus means that there are always infected people, who transmit the infection to another person and then recover, and over time, each person infects another person, so that the number of infected remains almost the same, that is, the virus remains forever, “according to what the site quoted from the professor Graham Medley is a pathologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

How did previous epidemics end?

Professor James Wood, an expert in pathology and epidemiology from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, noted that “when swine flu appeared in 2009, it became epidemic within a year of the initial pandemic and pushed the H1N1 flu strain to extinction.” .

He added, “Many viruses that were responsible for previous epidemics, including the 1918 influenza pandemic, are still circulating today.”

He stressed that “the complete elimination of the disease is not an easy thing,” noting that “so far, the World Health Organization has announced only two diseases that have been eradicated in all parts of the world: smallpox and rinderpest.”

Can corona be eliminated using vaccines?

It is mentioned that smallpox and rinderpest were eliminated using vaccines, so what about Corona vaccines? Is it able to end the disease?

Dr. Lee Reilly from the University of California at Berkeley replied, “There is a major obstacle to eliminating Covid-19 disease, which is that the virus is able to mutate to become vaccine-resistant.”

He added: “In places where there is a mixture of vaccinated and unvaccinated populations, vaccines may exert pressure on the virus to introduce more mutations, and these variables will spread among unvaccinated people.”

He continued: “There is another difficulty in reaching herd immunity, which is that some of the vaccines currently available do not provide 100% immunity against infection.”

On the other hand, Professor Wood from the University of New South Wales said, “The limitations imposed on our ability to produce the vaccine (15-20 million doses per day) mean that high global coverage of two doses will take more than a year even with a fair supply of vaccines.”

Dr. David Hayman from Massey University confirmed that “there is a huge disparity in the distribution of the vaccine, as only a small percentage of the world is currently vaccinated, and this means that unless this issue is resolved, the virus is likely to become endemic in those countries.”

Here, the professor concluded by saying that “if we can protect people from contracting severe disease, and we can reduce the symptoms, there may be no reason to eradicate the virus and eliminate it completely.”

In a related context, and after spending most of the time last year in caring for elderly patients, doctors are witnessing a clear shift, as middle-aged patients make up an increasing percentage in Corona treatment departments.

This is considered a sign of the United States’ success in protecting the elderly through vaccination, and a warning that the younger “will pay a heavy price” in the event of an outbreak of the virus.

“We now see people in their thirties, forties and fifties who are really sick, and most of them are fighting the virus, but some of them cannot,” said Dr. Vishnu Chunde, an infectious disease physician at the Chicago Medical Association. “We lost a 32-year-old man with two children, and this is heartbreaking.”

At the level of the United States, adults under the age of 50 are now the most hospitalized Corona patients in the country, and they account for about 35% of all hospitalizations.

Those between the ages of 50 and 64 make up the second largest number of hospitalizations, with an estimated 31%. Meanwhile, the number of hospitalizations over the age of 65 has decreased dramatically.

About 30% of the population of the United States will be vaccinated, and the vast majority of those are over the age of 65, a group that was prioritized in the first phase of the vaccine launch.

The probability of dying from corona remains very small for people under the age of 50, but this age group can be infected with the virus and suffer from long-term symptoms, and people who suffer from some problems such as obesity and heart disease are more likely to be infected.

“Many of the younger adults need intensive care unit care,” says Dr. Michael Barron, head of infection prevention and control at UC Health in Colorado.

She added, “The average age of Corona patients in hospitals has decreased from 59 to about 48 years, and I think we will continue to see that, especially if this age group is not vaccinated.”

And in “Seattle”, more people in their twenties are now hospitalized due to corona than people in their seventies, according to the head of the Seattle Public Health Authority, King Dr. Jeff Duchen.

Nationwide, about 32% of people in their 40s were fully vaccinated, compared to 27% of people in their 30s. This percentage drops to around 18% for those between the ages of 18 and 29.

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