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Covid-19 will become a seasonal virus, predict scientists

By Jahanbee Gupta

Scientists from Lebanon suggest that Covid-19, the illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, will likely become seasonal in countries with temperate climates, but only when herd immunity is attained. Until that time, Covid-19 will continue to circulate across the seasons. These conclusions published in the journal Frontiers in Public Health, highlight the absolute importance of public health measures needed just now to control the virus.

Study researcher Hassan Zaraket from the American University of Beirut in Lebanon said that Covid-19 is here to stay and it will continue to cause outbreaks year-round until herd immunity is achieved. Therefore, the community will need to find out to live with it and continue practising the best prevention measures, including wearing masks, physical distancing, hand hygiene, and avoidance of gatherings.

Collaborating author Hadi Yassine, of Qatar University in Doha, affirms and states that there could be multiple waves of Covid-19 before herd immunity is achieved. “We know that many respiratory viruses follow seasonal patterns, especially in temperate regions,” Yassine said. 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, examining the viral and host factors that control their seasonality as well as the latest knowledge on the stability and transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

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