COVID-19 is endemic and there is a good chance that the novel coronavirus will never go away, The Washington Post has reported citing experts.
According to the report, the coronavirus will likely to circulate among the world’s population for decades to come, even after a vaccine is discovered and deployed.
"This virus is here to stay," said Sarah Cobey, an epidemiologist and evolutionary biologist at the University of Chicago and added that "the question is, how do we live with it safely?"
Experts put COVID-19 in the category of endemic that includes measles, HIV, chickenpox. These are the diseases that \resist efforts to stamp them out.
For LIVE updates on the coronavirus pandemic, click here
The experts further say that the persistence of COVID-19 is one of the few things that can count on about the future. However, this doesn’t mean the situation will always be as dire as now, they said.
Currently, there are already four endemic coronaviruses that circulate continuously, causing the common cold, and many experts think this virus will become the fifth, said the report, adding that its effects will grow milder as immunity will spread and human bodies adapt to it over time.
According to the experts, combating endemic diseases requires long-range thinking, sustained effort and international coordination.
Natalie Dean, a disease biostatistician at the University of Florida, said that people keep talking of returning to normal. But a future with an enduring coronavirus means that normal no longer exists, Dean said in the report.
“As we find different ways to adapt and discover what works, that is how we are going to start reclaiming parts of our society and life,” she said.
Also read | India now worst-hit country in Asia, ninth in the world
Meanwhile, the US is yearning for a quick fix vaccine, which is being portrayed as an all-out solution to the infection. However, the world has achieved that only once with smallpox and it took nearly two centuries after the discovery of a vaccine to stamping out the disease that took hundreds of millions of lives, the report said.
It further said that the success of those vaccines will depend on distribution - a complicated, logistically fraught process, as per the report. In the first few years of a vaccine, global demand will far outstrip what manufacturers are able to supply, added the report.Follow our full coverage on COVID-19 here.