OSU researchers weigh in when the COVID-19 pandemic could become endemic | Coronavirus watch - Market News
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OSU researchers weigh in when the COVID-19 pandemic could become endemic | Coronavirus watch

OSU researchers weigh in when the COVID-19 pandemic could become endemic |  Coronavirus watch

The most important indicator is population mortality and death rates, according to Chunhuei Chi, Sc.D., MPH of Oregon State University.



CORVALLIS, Oregon — The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to slowly transition into an endemic phenomenon once the world is able to effectively halt the spread of the virus. The big question is when will we get to that point and what needs to be done before the pandemic is considered “over”.

“The main indicator is the population mortality and death rate; meaning we need to reduce the current pandemic to levels comparable to seasonal flu,” said Chunhuei Chi, Sc.D., MPH at Oregon State University.

In the US, the average annual number of fatalities from seasonal flu, according to Chi, is around 40,000 to 50,000 per year; that is the reference point and at the moment we are far from it.

“Politics are claiming this is starting to look like the seasonal flu is intensely flawed,” said Chris Nichols, historian and associate professor of history, philosophy and religion at OSU. “We’re seeing 2,000 deaths a day or 1,500 deaths a day and it’s not quite there.” not comparative at this point and that is actually a false comparison.”

Ultimately, there will not be as much focus on cases and the focus will shift to hospitalizations and deaths.

At the moment, vaccination is the main strategy against COVID-19, but we could see more options in the coming year.

In 2020, when more than 100 pharmaceutical and biotech companies rushed to produce a vaccine, most were unsuccessful, and when they were unsuccessful, many turned to a different focus: treatment.

“Last summer, some of the most promising drugs entered the second phase,” Chi said, referring to treatments that are being researched and produced. “I have some hope that in addition to a successful vaccine, we can expect more highly effective treatments.”

If Omicron data showing less severe infection is true, if deaths and hospitalizations are decreasing, and if the spread can slow down; we saw light at the end of the tunnel.

“I am hopeful that under those three conditions, in some countries, such as North America and Europe, we could see the end of the pandemic in late spring or December, but we still need to help low-income countries cope with it. dams, otherwise we might see more contagious or more severe variants coming from other parts of the world,” Chi said.

“One of the definitions that goes from pandemic to endemic is that it has no global distribution,” said Courtney Campbell of Oregon State University.

The US has committed more than a billion vaccines to the global fight against COVID-19, but there are several countries that are currently vaccinated only 5%, so there is a good chance that variants will continue to develop.