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The coronavirus pandemic will likely not be controlled until two-thirds of the world’s population is immune to the disease and countries should be prepared “for possible periodic” outbreaks over the next two years, a new study said.
Bloomberg reported that a study from the Center for Infectious Disease Research at the University of Minnesota suggested that there are several reasons why COVID-19 containment will be so challenging. Among them is the theory that those not showing symptoms may be most infectious.
It has been widely reported that without a proven treatment, vaccine or cure, governments will have to limit social interaction. The coronavirus is considered highly contagious and most dangerous for the elderly population and those with comorbidities. Health officials in the U.S. believe that shelter-in-place orders contributed to a lower-than-expected infection rate.
But, like many other countries, the U.S. is working on its reopening. About 30 million Americans have filed for unemployment since the beginning of statewide lockdowns and some business owners are eager to open their doors.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told a coronavirus press briefing earlier last month that the world may never return to the “normal” that was known before the outbreak.
“When we get back to normal, we will go back to the point where we can function as a society,” he said. He continued, “If you want to get back to pre-coronavirus, that might not ever happen in the sense that the threat is there.”
Fauci said people must be prepared for a resurgence next year, which is why officials fighting the pandemic are pushing for a vaccine and clinical trials for therapeutic interventions so “we will have interventions that we did not have” when this started.
The authors of the study said the pandemic could continue in waves that reach further than 2022.
“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 year,” they wrote, according to Bloomberg.