In a report, a team of longstanding pandemic experts has predicted that the new coronavirus is expected to keep spreading for at least 18 months to two years. It will affect 60 to 70% of the population.
It has been recommended in the report that the U.S prepares for a worst-case scenario and expect coronavirus second big wave to hit in fall and winter. Even if the best-case scenario is looked at, people will keep dying from the virus.
Mike Osterholm, who directs the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota said, “This thing’s not going to stop until it infects 60 to 70 percent of people.”
Adding, “The idea that this is going to be done soon defies microbiology.”
Other experts included in this research are epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch, who is a top expert on pandemics, Dr. Kristine Moore, a former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention epidemiologist who is now medical director for CIDRAP; and historian John Barry, who wrote the 2004 book “The Great Influenza” about the 1918 flu pandemic.
They said that as COVID-19 is something new, no one has any immunity. They wrote, “The length of the pandemic will likely be 18 to 24 months, as herd immunity gradually develops in the human population.”
The predictions made by the CIDRAP-led team are used on the basis of reports, historical data on past pandemics, and published reports regarding medical details of Covid-19.
Lipsitch said, “I have said for a long time that when you are trying to understand how the infectious disease is going to unfold, you should rely on history as well as models.”
At most COVID-19 can be compared with influenza.
In a report, they said, “Because of a longer incubation period, more asymptomatic spread, and a higher R0, COVID-19 appears to spread more easily than flu.
“A higher R0 means more people will need to get infected and become immune before the pandemic can end. Based on the most recent flu pandemics, this outbreak will likely last 18 to 24 months.”