COVID-19 likely to become a seasonal disease in countries with temperate climates: Scientists

Washington: COVID-19, the sickness brought on by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, will likely become seasonal in countries with temperate climates, however solely when herd immunity is attained, suggests a new evaluation printed in Frontiers in Public Health. Until that point, COVID-19 will proceed to flow into throughout the seasons. 

These conclusions spotlight absolutely the significance of public well being measures wanted simply now to management the virus.

“COVID-19 is here to stay and it will continue to cause outbreaks year-round until herd immunity is achieved. Therefore, the public will need to learn to live with it and continue practising the best prevention measures, including wearing of masks, physical distancing, hand hygiene and avoidance of gatherings,” mentioned senior creator of the examine Dr Hassan Zaraket, of the American University of Beirut in Lebanon.

Collaborating creator Dr Hadi Yassine, of Qatar University in Doha, affirms and states that there could possibly be a number of waves of COVID-19 earlier than herd immunity is achieved. 

“We know that many respiratory viruses follow seasonal patterns, especially in temperate regions. For instance, influenza and several types of coronaviruses that cause the common cold are known to peak in winter in temperate regions but circulate year-round in tropical regions.”

The authors reviewed these seasonal viruses, analyzing the viral and host elements that management their seasonality in addition to the most recent information on the soundness and transmission of SARS-CoV-2.The researchers clarify that virus survival in the air and on surfaces, individuals`s susceptibility to infections, and human behaviors, reminiscent of indoor crowding, differ throughout the seasons due to adjustments in temperature and humidity. 

These elements affect the transmission of respiratory viruses at completely different instances of the yr. However, in comparability to different respiratory viruses such because the flu, COVID-19 has a increased fee of transmission (R0), a minimum of partly due to circulation in a largely immunologically naive inhabitants.

This signifies that in contrast to the flu and different respiratory viruses, the elements governing seasonality of viruses can not but halt the unfold of COVID-19 in the summer season months. But, as soon as herd immunity is attained by pure infections and vaccinations, the R0 ought to drop considerably, making the virus extra inclined to seasonal elements.

Such seasonality has been reported for different coronaviruses, together with those who emerged extra lately reminiscent of NL63 and HKU1, which comply with the identical circulation sample like influenza.

“This remains a novel virus and despite the fast-growing body of science about it, there are still things that are unknown. Whether our predictions hold true or not remains to be seen in the future. But we think it`s highly likely, given what we know so far, COVID-19 will eventually become seasonal, like other coronaviruses,” provides Zaraket.

“The highest global COVID-19 infection rate per capita was recorded in the Gulf states, regardless of the hot summer season. Although this is majorly attributed to the rapid virus spread in closed communities, it affirms the need for rigorous control measures to limit virus spread, until herd immunity is achieved,” Dr Yassine mentioned.

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