Scientists in China have claimed that the novel coronavirus is likely to return every year like the flu, according to a report in Bloomberg Quint.
Researchers shared in a briefing on Monday, 27 April that the virus is different from its cousin SARS, which disappeared after its initial outbreak. The asymptomatic carriers for the novel coronavirus - SARS-CoV-2 - will make it hard to completely eradicate transmission as they could remain undetected. This is unlike SARS, where the virus led to severe illness in patients which made identification and isolation for all infected people possible, cutting the transmission rate.
Jin Qi, director of the Institute of Pathogen Biology at China’s top medical research institute, the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, is quoted as saying,
Such expectations about the virus’ return and the unlikely probability of its elimination have been echoing from around the world, with countries adopting varied approaches for its containment. While India opted for a lockdown, Sweden’s strategy involves protecting the elderly and allowing the spread among the younger population, hoping to achieve ‘herd immunity’.
Anthony Fauci, the director of U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, had also said that the disease could be seasonal, the report mentions.
On the speculation that the virus’ spread may come down with heat, Wang Guiqiang, head of infectious diseases department of Peking University First Hospital said, ““The virus is heat sensitive, but that’s when it’s exposed to 56 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes and the weather is never going to get that hot. So globally, even during the summer, the chance of cases going down significantly is small.”
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