BEIRUT: We are all too familiar with the seasonal patterns of some respiratory viruses and now scientists suggest that COVID-19, the illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, will likely follow suit and 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.
"COVID-19 is here to stay and it will continue to cause outbreaks year-round until herd immunity is achieved," said study researcher Hassan Zaraket from the American University of Beirut in Lebanon.
Therefore, the public will need to learn to live with it and continue practising the best prevention measures, including wearing of masks, physical distancing, hand hygiene and avoidance of gatherings." Zaraket added.
Collaborating author HadiYassine, 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. (IANS)
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