How will the coronavirus change in the coming months? How will this winter act?

The cold station is just around the corner and they have spent almost two years since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. To date, Coronavirus has infecte

How will the coronavirus change in the coming months?
 How will this winter act?

The cold station is just around the corner and they have spent almost two years since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. To date, Coronavirus has infected more than 240 million people and almost 4.9 million have died. What is the path that the virus has taken? Can you predict how it will change in the near future?

The last hypotheses in terms of epidemiology suppose a long (and with quite peaceful luck) coexistence with SARS-COV-2, but the unknowns are more than certainties, because this virus does not look at all at 4 Coronavirus who still circulate and Not even the flu to which we face each winter. Do not leave a pandemic in a week: a transition phase that could take place this winter and that would lead from a pandemic to an endemic (when a contagious disease is constantly present, but whose annual number of cases is not subject to Large variations). The scenarios depend on the numerous factors at stake and how they will evolve; One of these refers to the Mutations of Coronavirus.

In large part of the world, infections remain uncontrolled and this gives the virus more possibilities of evolution: it could become more transmissible, be able to evade the defenses of the immune system or be more virulent, causing more serious diseases.

The delta variant, now prevalent throughout the world, has confirmed the "habit" of many viruses to evolve towards greater infectivity instead of towards greater lethality. Where it has been imposed, Delta has even canceled the most worrisome variants of the "drill" vaccines.

The scientists raise the hypothesis that the only way for the evolution of SARS-COV-2 now passes through the unique mutations of the Delta, in practice subvariants. In fact, there are several subtypes in the United Kingdom.

However, adapting a virus to humans is a process that does not last forever: there is likely to exist some biological limits on how infectious it can be turned. Meanwhile, the natural infection and the reinforcements of existing vaccines could "recharge" the acquired immunity and "teach" our bodies to recognize new mutations.

The number of "susceptible 'people (completely vulnerable) will also decrease and the propagation of Covid will slow down, so the virus will have fewer chances to change.

The other central variable in the fight against Covid are vaccines. The recoil or not of the pandemic depends on the rate of vaccination and the diffusion and capillarity of immunization: in some countries there are percentages of people vaccinated that reach 90%, but in Africa falls below 10%. The pandemic can not end while infections are not controlled in much of the world.Other factor that is unknown is the number of individuals who will never get vaccinated: how many there are, how they are distributed in different countries? Children under 12 are currently excluded from immunization, but until when? How many parents will choose to vaccinate them when there is sanitary authorization?

The vaccines themselves raise some questions: they have proven to be extremely effective against Covid's disease, they are not fully effective against the possibility of infecting them. Vaccines in use are not "sterilizing", therefore, do not reduce the circulation of the virus. However, they can be updated and repeated in the future. Reinforcements have been studied precisely because the immunity provided by vaccination seems to be weakened (around 6 months); On the other hand, we do not even know exactly how long the immunity acquired with natural infection will last.

All these factors make up the table that configures the future of the pandemic. Finally, you do not have to forget that human behavior matters a lot. Before the advent of mass vaccination, any drastic reduction in coronavirus circulation in a given country was achieved with closures and measures of distancing, rather than by the barrier consisting of the percentage of population already infected by the virus. It turned out that the longed "collective immunity" is a chimera, given that vaccines do not completely stop infections and a certain propagation of the patched virus should be taken into account, depending on the state and the area.

In this context, when the number of cured and vaccinated people will transform the virus from a pandemic to an endemic? It is likely that evolution will occur at different times around the world, due to the different distribution of vaccines, and the transition will not be sudden.

Scientists are doing several hypotheses about how LacoExistence will be with an endemic virus: Some predict that Covid will be very similar to flu and can still cause serious illnesses and death, especially during seasonal peaks, others are more optimistic and believe it will be More like a common cold.

Alberto Mantovani, Scientific Director of the Humanitarian Clinical Institute and President of the Humanitas Foundation for Research, believes it will be a long coexistence with SARS-COV-2, especially until the gap between the countries of the world regarding rates of Vaccination: "We see clearly the light at the end of the tunnel, but it would be necessary to vaccinate the entire population of 12 and more years, including those infected, and not abandon the monitoring of positives and prevention rules in closed places."

Maria Van Kerkhove, Head of the Emerging Disease Unity of the World Health Organization (WHO), thinks of high and low periods: "Peaks can become less high, but more acute in specific populations, such as those not vaccinated and The fragile ".

Trevor Bedford, Computational Biologist of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, estimates that the Covid will be the worst of seasonal respiratory diseases: "I imagine a virus three times more contagious than the flu, but with a similar mortality rate" .

The STATENS Serum Institute (SSI) links the increase in cases with the vaccination rate and the level of reopening: the United Kingdom raised all restrictions on July 19, when only about half the population was completely vaccinated and cases began Growing at the beginning of August, reaching more than 38,000 new positives today per day and an average of about 150 daily deaths.In the journal Science The hypothetized scenario is that of a common cold, in which protection against infections is erodes with Time, but not the defense against serious illnesses. This could result in a first childhood infection, followed by recurrent slight infections.

Whatever happens, to periodically find the Coronavirus, reinforced by the protection of a vaccine or a previous infection, could help refresh the reaction of the immune system, making us even more suitable for prolonged coexistence.

Updated Date: 20 October 2021, 12:12

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