After a first coronavirus epidemic in Wuhan, China, which started in December 2019, the new virus has spread to more than 180 countries around the world. The United States, Spain, Italy and France are among the most affected countries. It is important to note, however, that the coronavirus is the name of the general type of virus, rather than the disease itself. Regarding its decision to name the COVID-19 virus, the World Health Organization said, “Having a name is important to prevent the use of other names that may be inaccurate or stigmatizing. It also gives us a standard format to use for any future coronavirus epidemic. “
Could the coronavirus go away on its own?
The question of whether the coronavirus could die out on its own is a hotly debated topic among the scientific community, as the arguments on both sides of the coin are valid.
Dr. Matteo Bassetti, head of the infectious disease clinic at San Martino Hospital in Genoa, Italy, believed that the coronavirus had become less dangerous and could disappear without a vaccine.
The Sunday Telegraph reported that Dr. Basetti said that the virus had become less potent over time, possibly due to genetic mutations.
Dr. Basetti said, “The clinical impression I have is that the virus is changing in severity. In March and April, the models were completely different.
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“People came to the emergency room with a very difficult to manage illness and they needed oxygen and ventilation, some of them developed pneumonia.”
However, according to Dr. Basetti “the picture has completely changed in terms of patterns” in the past month.
“It was like an aggressive thrill in March and April, but now it’s like a wild cat,” added Dr. Basetti.
“Even the elderly patients, aged 80 or 90, are now sitting in their beds and breathing without help. The same patients would have died two or three days earlier. “
However, other experts did not share Dr. Basetti’s optimism and believe that the chances of the virus disappearing are very slim.
Dr. Bharat Pankhania, professor at the Exeter School of Medicine, said: “I don’t expect it to go out as quickly. He will if he has no one to infect.
“If we have a successful vaccine, we can do what we did with smallpox. But because it is so contagious and widespread, it will not go away for very long. “
WHO Executive Director of the Health Emergency Program Mike Ryan said: “This virus may well become another endemic virus in our communities and this virus may never go away.
“HIV has not gone away. I am not comparing the two diseases, but I think it is important that we are realistic. I don’t think anyone can predict when or if this disease will go away. “
What does endemic mean?
An endemic disease is a disease characteristic of a certain population, environment or region.
Examples of endemic diseases include chickenpox, which occurs in young schoolchildren in the United States, and malaria in parts of Africa.
The disease is present in a community at all times but in relatively small quantities.
In contrast, an epidemic is a sudden and severe outbreak in a specific region or group of people, such as AIDS among intravenous drug users.