The Strategist

Kind of seasonal flu: Chinese scientists believe it's impossible to destroy COVID-19

04/29/2020 - 03:15

The new coronavirus cannot be completely eradicated, as happened with SARS, Chinese scientists say. In their opinion, COVID-19 is likely to become a seasonal disease, such as the flu.

Chinese scientists believe that the new coronavirus, because of which more than 211,000 people already died worldwide, will not be completely eradicated, as happened with SARS, Bloomberg writes.

“Most likely, it will be an epidemic that coexists with people for a long time, becomes seasonal and remains in the human body,” said Jin Qi, director of the Institute of Pathogen Biology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, at a briefing in Beijing.

Researchers from the PRC believe it is unlikely that the new virus will disappear just like its close relative, SARS, 17 years ago, because some infected with COVID-19 show no such obvious symptoms as fever, Bloomberg writes. The so-called asymptomatic carriers make it difficult to completely curb the spread of the disease, since they can infect other people without suspecting it.

In the case of SARS, those infected showed symptoms of a serious illness. Once they were isolated, the virus stopped spreading. Now in China, where the epidemic is under control, dozens of asymptomatic cases of coronavirus are still detected daily.

Earlier, Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said that COVID-19 could become a seasonal disease. As evidence, he cited the fact that cases of the disease in the countries of the southern hemisphere began to be detected after the arrival of autumn cold weather.

There is a consensus among leading scientists and several governments that the virus is unlikely to be destroyed, despite the quarantine and restrictive measures that caused the suspension of a significant part of the global economy, Bloomberg writes. Therefore, a number of health experts are calling for the controlled distribution of coronavirus among the younger population, as in India or in Sweden.