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COVID-19 pandemic likely to last two years, study says

Published on 01/05/20 at 11:53am
Photo by Studio Incendo

The coronavirus pandemic is likely to last as long as two years and will not be properly controlled until two-thirds of the world’s populations have become immune.

This is according to a report titled “COVID-19: The CIDRAP Viewpoint” created by the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP).

The study outlines how that COVID-19’s ability to spread from people who don’t appear to be sick makes it far more difficult to control than influenza. Research indicates that people may even be more infectious before they display symptoms.

CIDRAP says that: “Risk communication messaging from government officials should incorporate the concept that this pandemic will not be over soon and that people need to be prepared for possible periodic resurgences of disease over the next two years.

“We must be prepared for at least another 18 to 24 months of significant COVID-19 activity, with hot spots popping up periodically in diverse geographic areas. The course of the pandemic also could be influenced by a vaccine; however, a vaccine will likely not be available until at least sometime in 2021. And we don’t know what kinds of challenges could arise during vaccine development that could delay the timeline.”

The report also recommends that the US prepare for a worst case scenario that includes a second big wave of infections during the Autumn and Winter.

Many companies are working quickly to develop a vaccine with estimates an effective compound could be developed by the end of the year. But as the CIDRAP report highlights, a vaccine being ready for safe use in humans is still at least a year away.

Conor Kavanagh

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