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COVID-19 Will it ever be seasonal like the flu?

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Tuesday, September 15, 2020 (HealthDay News)-COVID-19, unlike other respiratory viruses known to humans, can eventually develop into a seasonal tragedy like the flu.

This is due to a new report in which researchers explain cases of the potential for seasonal COVID.

The scenario relies on many unknowns and assumes that the new coronavirus will turn into meteorological factors. And that doesn’t happen until enough people are exposed to the virus or vaccinated to provide enough herd immunity, the researchers said in their report in the journal. Public health frontier..

However, they believe that epidemic respiratory viruses, including the flu that causes the symptoms of the common cold and the common coronavirus, give hints on what happens with COVID.

All of these viruses are seasonal and susceptible to changes in weather patterns such as temperature and humidity.

SARS-CoV-2 has not yet shown any signs of seasonality. Cases in the United States surged in the hot summer months, in contrast to the typical respiratory virus that dissipated during that period.

However, as more people are exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the pattern can change, Dr. Hassan Salackett of the American University of Beirut in Lebanon reports.

“Given what we know so far, we think COVID-19, like other coronaviruses, will eventually become seasonal,” he said in a journal news release. ..

However, infectious disease experts warn that if there is one thing that is certain about COVID, the disease is full of surprises.

Dr. Aaron Glatt, a spokesperson for the Infectious Diseases Society of America, said the concept of seasonal COVID is a “reasonable guess.”

“But currently there is no evidence for or against it,” said Grat, chair of the School of Medicine at Mount Sinai South Nassau, New York’s Oceanside.

It is true that most respiratory viruses have an established seasonal pattern. In warmer climates, Zaraket peaks in winter and early spring, with cold air and low humidity. In the tropics, on the other hand, many respiratory viruses circulate throughout the year and surge in certain months.

However, SARS-CoV-2, which scientists believe has jumped from bats to humans, is different from the common coronavirus. So, as Grat said, it is unpredictable that new viruses will behave like them.

The other two coronaviruses provide a close comparison to SARS-CoV-2. One caused the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003. The other emerged in 2012 and causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Both of these coronaviruses are new to humans and are thought to have leapt their species from infected animals.

Still, Grat said, neither of them swept the world, so they are clearly different from the new coronavirus. And the two were different from each other. Although SARS eventually disappeared, cases of MERS still occur in the Arabian Peninsula.

MERS has never taken a seasonal pattern-but it is also not easily transmitted among people, Zaraket pointed out. This is a clear difference from SARS-CoV-2.

Dr. Bruce Y. Lee is a professor at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy in New York City.

He agreed that there was no way to predict whether COVID-19 would be seasonal.

So far, Lee said the virus was fine in “finding” people who were susceptible and could have overwritten seasonal factors that could affect SARS-CoV-2 infection. Said.

Therefore, if the virus is actually seasonally affected, the virus will not be revealed unless people are much more vulnerable, Lee said.

“Herd immunity” (when the majority of the population is protected from infection) can be caused by widespread natural exposure to SARS-CoV-2 or vaccines, Zaraket wrote.

But Lee said there are many unclear points about COVID and immunity. Can a person eventually be re-infected with the same strain of SARS-CoV-2? And how long will the resistance last? If the vaccine becomes available, does it provide long-term protection, or do people need COVID shots each year?

“We don’t know,” Grat said. “People don’t want to hear that, but that’s the answer,” he said.

There have been some suggestions that allowing the virus to spread among young and healthy people may actually be a good thing-to bring herd immunity faster.

“The argument is scientifically unfounded,” Lee said.

Young people may be less likely to die of COVID, but they can and will actually be severe, Lee emphasized. They can also infect older people and vulnerable people.

The only safe way to move towards herd immunity is through vaccination. But even if the vaccine became available, it might not mean a complete “return to normal,” Lee said.

The vaccine must be effective enough to achieve herd immunity and enough people will have to get it.

For more information

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 prevention..

Source: Aaron Grat, Maryland, Dean of Medicine, Oceanside, NY, Mount Sinai South Nassau, Professor of Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai, NY, and Spokesperson, American Society for Infectious Diseases, Arlington, Va.; Bruce Y Lee, MD, MBA, Professor, Health Policy and Management, and Director Public health frontier, September 2020, online

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