Corona forecast: how will the pandemic continue?

  • Coronavirus will never go away again
  • Three scenarios show a realistic course of the pandemic
  • Scientists show horror option, but also optimistic solution

You have to get used to the thought for good or bad: Experts assume that Coronavirus cannot be eradicated for the time being. But how will Sars-CoV-2 develop? And what are the other risks? A team of scientists has also contributed to the journal Nature written.

1st scenario: a never ending pandemic

The article begins optimistically by stating that it is realistic to expect that the pandemic will be brought under control thanks to global vaccination efforts. The team of authors led by Amalio Telenti and Davide Corti, who work for the pharmaceutical company Vir Biotechnology and various research institutions, is still working unforeseeable developments and uncertainties a.

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Of three conceivable scenarios that the team mentions, one is particularly worrying: that mankind cannot control the pandemic quickly and will have to struggle with severe events and a high number of infected people in the future – which in turn will Advancement of the virus begnstigen knne.

2nd scenario: The coronavirus as flu 2.0

A second and more likely scenario is that transition from Corona to a seasonal illness like the flu. Effective therapies such as antibody preparations made in the laboratory could help to massively reduce the severity of the disease and the rate of hospital admissions and deaths, the authors write. The President of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive and Emergency Medicine (Divi), Gernot Marx, recently announced that the flu can be expected to be comparable in the future Handelsblatt: “Corona patients will continually end up in intensive care units, but not in above-average numbers as in the heyday of the pandemic. We are also experiencing this with influenza”.

Normal flu – that may sound harmless to some. The authors of the Nature– However, the article reminds us that influenza is estimated to kill several hundred thousand deaths worldwide each year. “This is a very serious health burden and corresponds to one relatively optimistic view of the future the Sars-CoV-2 pandemic “, they state about this scenario.

3rd scenario: The coronavirus becomes more harmless

The authors cite this as the third – and probably most optimistic – option Transition from Corona to a disease with comparatively much less severe symptoms, similar to the well-known coronaviruses. These are among the classic triggers of colds. However, the authors emphasize several times that it is not possible to predict with certainty whether the severity of the disease will actually increase or decrease with further adaptation to humans and how long such a development could last.

According to the authors, a possible development towards a flu-like or clam-like pathogen, perhaps with peaks in the winter months, should not occur before, among other things, one more widespread immunity in the population gives. Telenti and Corti also look at the influenza pandemic of 1918/19: descendants of the H1N1 pathogen would have caused epidemics well into the 1950s.

Virus variants are and will remain a dangerous problem

Also the Development of variantsthat can escape the immune system of vaccinated and convalescents remains a risk, according to the article. Because the pandemic is currently not or only incompletely under control in many regions of the world, there is a risk that it will more virus diversity develop.

To be able to predict such developments with new tools would, according to the authors, be beneficial. They also highlight a possible role for animal species in which the virus could circulate and continue to change.

Virologist Christian Drosten is optimistic

They note, however, that so far a relatively limited number of mutations have appeared independently of one another in several variants, suggesting a convergent and possibly restricted evolution of corona hints. This coincides with the assessments of the Berlin virologist Christian Drosten: “From a virological point of view, there are good reasons to assume that Sars-2 doesn’t have that much left in stock than what it has been able to show us so far, “he said recently in an interview with the Swiss online magazine republic.

Corona expert Drosten expects that in the long term Sars-CoV-2 like a declaration coronavirus will behave. Transitional states are to be expected in the next two to four years – the virus will use vaccination, he said in a hearing in the parliamentary advisory committee Covid-19 pandemic of the Bundestag at the end of May.

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