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The dawn of cold reality, as the vaccine hopes: Covid-19 is likely to stay here

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Vaccination momentum has the potential to curb Covid-19, but governments and businesses are increasingly accepting that epidemiologists have long warned. Pathogens circulate for years or even decades, and society will co-exist with Covid-19 like any other person. Endemic diseases such as influenza, measles and HIV.

Ease of spread of coronavirus, Appearance of new strains And Poor access to vaccines According to epidemiologists, in most parts of the world, Covid-19 can transition from a pandemic to endemic, which can lead to permanent changes in personal and social behavior.

“We need to go through the five stages of the moment of death and enter the acceptance stage that our lives are not the same,” said Thomas Frieden, former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “I don’t think the world has actually absorbed the fact that these are long-term changes.”

According to infectious disease experts, endemic Covid-19 does not necessarily mean that coronavirus restrictions will continue. This is mainly because vaccines are very effective in preventing serious illness and reducing hospitalization and mortality. In Israel, hospitalization has already dropped by 30% after vaccination of one-third of the population. The death toll there is expected to plummet in the coming weeks.

However, some tissues have masking, good ventilation, and The test will continue in some way.. Meanwhile, a new, potentially profitable Covid-19 industry is rapidly emerging as companies invest in products and services such as air quality monitoring, filters, diagnostic kits, and new therapies.

During the Covid-19 epidemic in Peru last week, a person slept outdoors to make room for a limited number of oxygen tanks to line up.


Photo:

Sebastian Castaneda / Reuters

With manufacturers like New Jersey, the number of gene detection PCR tests produced worldwide is expected to increase this year.

Quest diagnosis Co., Ltd.

We predict that millions of people will need cotton swabs before attending concerts, basketball games, or family events.

“We think it will last for years or forever like the flu,” said South Korea’s SD Biosensor, Inc., which is increasing production of home diagnostic kits. Said Jiwon Lim, a spokesman for.Leading pharmaceutical company — with Novartis International AG in Switzerland

Eli Lilly

& Co. — Invested in a potential Covid-19 therapy. Over 300 such products are currently under development.

Airlines like

Lufthansa

Is restructuring in Europe to focus on short-haul flights away from Pacific countries that say it will continue to close its borders at least this year. Some airports are planning new vaccine passport systems to allow vaccinated passengers to travel. The restaurant is investing in providing more takeaways and deliveries. Meat packaging factories from Canada to Europe are purchasing robotic arms to reduce the risk of outbreaks by reducing the number of workers on the assembly line.

A disease is considered endemic if it is persistent but manageable, such as influenza. According to epidemiologists, the extent of the spread depends on the disease and location. Rabies, malaria, HIV, and Zika are all endemic infectious diseases, but their prevalence and human casualties vary worldwide.

“It was clear to most virologists that the virus would become endemic,” said the National Institutes of Health, after countries failed to contain the coronavirus very early and the infection intensified around the world. John Mascola, director of the Vaccine Research Center, said. “When the virus is very easily transmitted between humans and the population [lacks immunity], It will spread wherever it has the opportunity to spread. It’s like a leak in a dam. “

Immunologists now want vaccines to prevent infection. This is a discovery that dramatically reduces the spread of the virus.Oxford University A study published last week Found the given people

AstraZeneca

The vaccine may be less likely to get the disease.

A woman was vaccinated with the Covid-19 vaccine from a National Guard member on Saturday at a mass vaccination site in Maryland.


Photo:

Sara Sylbiger / Getty Images

Still, there are huge pockets of the population that remain beyond the reach of the vaccine for the foreseeable future, giving the virus ample room to continue circulation.

Currently, there are no vaccines approved for infants. Due to supply problems, most developing countries will not be able to receive injections until the end of next year at the earliest.Meanwhile, Europe saw High vaccine rejection rate: When asked in a recent YouGov poll, less than half of the French were willing to be shot.

As scientists develop new treatments, Covid-19 will “become an infectious disease that we can live with,” said Rachel Bender Ignacio, an infectious disease expert at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. .. Therefore, it is important to develop treatments for persistent debilitating symptoms that many patients suffer months after they become ill, such as memory fog, odor loss, and digestive and heart problems. Said.

In some countries, such as Australia and New Zealand, the average daily number of cases is in the low single digits, but we have never experienced the large-scale outbreaks that continue to occur in the Americas and Europe. , Both island nations have seen the virus evade strict travel restrictions. ..

“I don’t think we should start setting the elimination or eradication of this virus as a criterion for success,” said Mike Ryan, Secretary-General of the World Health Organization’s Emergency Program. “We need to be able to control the virus. The virus does not control us.”

The convention center the day before Super Bowl LV, Tampa, Florida. Demand for the Covid-19 test is expected to explode as millions of people are wiped out before sporting, cultural and family events.


Photo:

Shannon Stapleton / Reuters

In modern history, only one human virus, smallpox, has been completely eradicated. Although the disease only infects humans, the new coronavirus spreads to small mammals such as mink, and although less effective, it returns to humans and turns the world’s fur farms into potential reservoirs of the virus.

In addition, tens of millions of Covid-19 cases gave the virus ample opportunity to improve its ability to infect other mammals, said Sean Welan, a virologist at Washington University in St. Louis. Mutations present in South African and British mutants gave the pathogen the ability to infect mice, he said.

Diseases that spread from asymptomatic people (often coronaviruses) are particularly difficult to eradicate. The multi-billion dollar global effort has not eradicated this other disease, polio. Polio was excluded from the United States in the 1970s, but was excluded from Europe only in 2002 and still exists in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Respiratory viruses, such as the new coronavirus, can be transmitted through normally benign acts such as breathing and conversation, and are prone to endemic disease, especially because they are excellent at infecting cells. .. They included OC43, a coronavirus that researchers now believe caused the Russian cold in the 1890s, and the pandemic killed one million people. The virus, which is still present in the population and is responsible for many common colds, may have become less virulent as people develop immunity.

Share your thoughts

How have you adapted to Covid-19’s “New Normal” over the past year? Join the conversation below.

Mutations in new coronavirus variants Improved infection of human cells Or, there is concern that the effectiveness of existing vaccines may be reduced when avoiding some antibodies. Scientists say monitoring new variants is of long-term importance to vaccination programs. Understanding their characteristics will help you determine if your shots need to be updated regularly, as is the case with the flu.

Vaccination will be just as important once the pandemic subsides and the Covid-19 epidemic occurs.

Angelaras Mussen, a virologist at Georgetown University’s Center for Global Health Sciences and Security, said: “People seem to think that when a virus becomes endemic, it is attenuated and less serious. The misconception is that the virus usually evolves and maximizes the number of people infected before it is killed. It stems from the facts.

However, as most people survive Covid-19, “this virus is even more attenuated because the virus has already spread and is finding new opportunities to replicate before the host becomes ill. There isn’t much pressure to turn it into, “she said. “It’s doing well.”

Write to Daniela Hernandez [email protected] And Drew Hinshaw [email protected]

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