Officials in several nations advise that time to consider Covid as an endemic disease, similar to seasonal flu, to avoid further limitations and avert the problem. That, according to specialists at the World Health Organization, is premature. The epidemic is far from done, with omicron wreaking havoc on communities and enormous swaths of the globe remaining unvaccinated. The final fact is that the route to endemic status is fraught with uncertainty, raising difficult considerations for policymakers throughout the world.
What does endemic mean?
A disease that “affects a large number of people at the same time and spreads from person to person in a location where the disease is not permanently prevalent” is referred to as an epidemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines an epidemic as a disease that spreads over an area or community.
The term “epidemic” is frequently used as a noun, indicating “temporary occurrence of a disease.”
When might Covid become endemic?
Covid was killing roughly 50,000 people each week throughout the world in mid-January. According to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, learning to live with the virus shouldn’t require experiencing so many deaths. Depending on their amounts of immunity, countries are likely to consider Covid endemic at different times.
What’s the role of the omicron variant?
In places with established community transmission, there is clear evidence that Omicron spreads substantially quicker than Delta, with a doubling period of 2-3 days. The total danger associated with this new variation is still quite high.
What else could complicate the path?
The coronavirus might be comparable to the flu virus, which causes a stable number of instances each year but has the potential for causing epidemics and even pandemics if it mutates enough to avoid the protection that many people have gained via vaccination and earlier illnesses.
Which countries are re-evaluating their view of Covid?
Given that the increase in omicron cases hasn’t resulted in an equal rise in hospitalizations and deaths, Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said it’s time to consider alternative methods of living with Covid. Nadhim Zahawi, a cabinet minister in the United Kingdom, hopes that his country will be one of the first major economies to demonstrate “how you transition from pandemic to endemic” The U.S.
What may it be like to live with the virus?
Trevor Bedford, a viral evolution researcher at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, projected in October that endemic Covid may result in 40,000 to 100,000 deaths each year in the United States. The flu, on the other hand, kills anything from 12,000 to 52,000 people.