Coronavirus may get WORSE during winters, we need to be prepared


Coronavirus during winters


What emerged as a mysterious pneumonia-like illness in Wuhan, China on 31 December 2019, soon engulfed the entire world. As we write this, the novel coronavirus has already spread to 213 countries, infecting more than 23 million people across the world and has caused 816,034 deaths. The worrying part is that even though the SARS-CoV-2 virus is not mutating significantly (which is good news for vaccine development), it is still spreading at an alarming rate. Hence, despite the fact that researchers across the world are working at lightning speed to create a vaccine for novel coronavirus, they may not be fast enough.

01/ Winter is coming, so may another COVID wave

The winter season is fast approaching and global health experts believe that it could trigger a second wave of the pandemic--possibly much worse than the first one. While there may be high degree of uncertainty over how the virus will behave in colder temperatures, early reports suggest that it may survive longer during the winters. According to a report published in The Print, Klaus Stohr, an infectious disease expert who previously worked with WHO, maintains that “the epidemiological behaviour of this virus will not be that much different from other respiratory diseases. During winter, they come back.”

02/ COVID cases and subsequent deaths may peak in winter 2020

It is a rather grim reminder of the fact that the world as a collective unit needs to be well-prepared to tackle another wave of the pandemic, which may potentially be more severe than the one we are battling currently. According to modelling done by the Academy of Medical Sciences, UK, the winter may be an extremely challenging time this year, suggesting that peak in hospital admissions and deaths in January/February 2021 of a similar magnitude to that of the first wave in spring 2020.

03/ We may not have a vaccine before winter, need to plan accordingly

England’s chief medical officer, Chris Whitty underlines that even though researchers and scientists are working at an accelerated rate to develop a vaccine to combat the novel contagion, we can’t really rely on a vaccine to contain the spread--at least for the coming winter months. Speaking to News Sky, he said, “Planning for the next winter, it would be foolish to plan on the basis we will have a vaccine.”

He further noted, “Now that may be wrong - a lot of people are doing a huge amount scientifically, logistically to make sure that's a pessimistic statement, to try and see if we can get a vaccine at an extraordinarily fast speed but we have to check it works and we have to make sure it's safe and these things do take time.”

04/ "We need to plan on the basis of our current resources"

"We should plan on the basis we will not have a vaccine and then if one does prove to be effective and safe and available then we're in a strong position to be able to use it and that will be great but we should be planning on the basis of what we currently have," Professor Chris Whitty concluded.

05/ How can we prepare for the winter season?

As health experts across the world echo similar sentiments that the COVID-19 outbreak may become worst in the coming winter months, countries need to brace themselves for the same. The bottom line is that any effective vaccine to combat the spread of the disease is still atleast six months away (in the best case scenario) and even then there is the looming question of large-scale immunization.

06/ The bottom line

Since the winter season is coming before the vaccine, we need to strategize accordingly to prevent the most susceptible and vulnerable sections of the society from the infectious contagion. As the researchers suggest that cold weather and high humidity may increase the spread of the disease, ramping up the testing for coronavirus, following social distancing rules strictly and practising respiratory and hand hygiene measures without any lackadaisical approach, will be crucial during the winter months.



from LifeStyle
Coronavirus may get WORSE during winters, we need to be prepared Coronavirus may get WORSE during winters, we need to be prepared Reviewed by streakoggi on August 24, 2020 Rating: 5
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