The new Coronavirus may not stop until it infects 60-70 percent of the world’s population, warns an infectious disease expert.
According to Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Research and Policy on Communicable Diseases at the University of Minnesota, this scenario will most likely occur because we don’t yet have the magic bullet to stop the new coronavirus.
The world must find ways to adapt and live with viruses that will not disappear. “We will live with that. And we have not done that conversation at all,” Osterholm said USA TODAY.
Therefore, reducing home orders, without endangering most Americans, is difficult. More than half of the US states have begun to reopen even when experts have sounded the alarm about the consequences.
Recently, Dr. Anthony Fauci, a top contagious disease expert, testify from far ahead of the US Senate Health Committee, said that countries could see “unnecessary suffering and death” if they ignored checkpoints in administrative guidelines for reopening the country.
Osterholm is worried that the situation in the US will worsen in the fall when the country has to face the flu and Covid-19. The surge that resulted in the number of cases could flood the hospital, he said. So far, the virus has infected 1.36 million Americans and killed more than 82,000 people in the country, according to him Johns Hopkins University.
Some Asian countries that have defeated the virus are also not safe. They are vulnerable to a second wave of infection, Osterholm warns. China and South Korea have seen new case appears after a drop.
“This damn virus will continue until it infects everyone who can possibly. It certainly won’t slow down until it reaches 60 to 70%” of the population, “Osterholm said.
“This is a big peak that will bring us in. Like many of the pain, suffering, death, and economic disturbances that we have, there are 5 to 20% of people infected, … That is a long way to reach 60 to 70% , “he added.
All hope for a vaccine
Vaccines can help countries gain an edge over viruses and slow them down. The Trump administration aims to prepare vaccines end of year. Many experts hope to have one in 18 months.
“My best case scenario is that we will see four or five vaccines being run through highly effective and well-designed trials in the coming months,” Director of Health of the US National Institute Francis Collins, told People in business. He added that in the fall, we may have at least one or more of them who have been granted permission for emergency use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
However, there is one problem. Even if safe and effective vaccines are developed, experts aren’t sure whether they can provide long-term immunity against new corona viruses.
Thinking about the uncertainties surrounding vaccine development and the ambitious time schedule, Collins added: “Hair stands behind my neck.”