Health Care

Chinese scientists predict coronavirus won’t be eradicated

Chinese scientists said this week that they believe the novel coronavirus will not be eradicated, predicting that the disease could possibly return periodically like the flu.   

A group of Chinese viral and medical researchers told reporters in Beijing on Monday that the virus will likely not disappear like SARS because it can infect asymptomatic carriers, Bloomberg News reported, so people can spread the virus without experiencing symptoms like a fever and cough.

The researchers said Chinese health officials are still confirming dozens of asymptomatic carriers every day, the news outlet reported.  

“This is very likely to be an epidemic that co-exists with humans for a long time, becomes seasonal and is sustained within human bodies,” Jin Qi, director of the Institute of Pathogen Biology at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, said.

Health officials and leaders worldwide have projected that the virus is unlikely to be completely eliminated, despite lockdowns, stay-at-home orders and other measures being enforced around the world.

The Chinese experts said Monday that they have found no evidence that the virus’s spread will slow during the summer as temperatures continue to rise in the northern hemisphere, according to Bloomberg.

“The virus is heat sensitive, but that’s when it’s exposed to 56 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes and the weather is never going to get that hot,” Wang Guiqiang, head of the infectious diseases department of Peking University First Hospital, said. “So globally, even during the summer, the chance of cases going down significantly is small.”

William Bryan, under secretary for science and technology at the Department of Homeland Security, told reporters last week that coronavirus deteriorates faster when subjected to higher temperatures and humidity, but he warned that “it would be irresponsible for us to say that we feel the summer is going to totally kill the virus … that is not the case.”

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci, a core member of President Trump’s coronavirus task force, said earlier this month that it is likely the coronavirus will become a seasonal threat because it is unlikely that it is contained around the world this year.

“We need to be prepared that since it will be unlikely to be completely eradicated from the planet that as we get into next season we may see the beginning of a resurgence,” Fauci told CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

Tags Anthony Fauci Coronavirus Donald Trump

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