WASHINGTON (AP) – When will the coronavirus disappear?
Nobody knows for sure. Scientists believe that the virus that causes COVID-19 may be with us for decades or longer, but that does not mean that it will continue to pose the same threat.
The virus appeared in late 2019, և it is difficult to predict what it will do in the long run. But many experts believe that the disease is likely to eventually weaken from a crisis to a common cold.
This would happen when people accumulate immunity over time, either through infection or through vaccination. Other viruses have followed a similar path.
The 1918 flu epidemic could also provide hints of COVID-19.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one-third of the world’s population is infected with the bird-borne virus. Eventually, after the infected people either died or acquired immunity, the virus quickly stopped spreading. It was later transformed into a less viral form, which, according to experts, continues to circulate seasonally.
However, the emergence of new versions of COVID-19 may complicate the picture if further mutations in the virus cause more severe disease or avoid vaccines.
It is unlikely that the virus will be completely eradicated, given the possibility that people may become infected again after becoming ill or vaccinated.
Chickenpox is the only virus that has ever been eradicated from the human population. This is because people develop strong local immunity to the virus when they become ill or vaccinated.
The AP answers your questions about this series of coronaviruses. Submit them to FactCheck@ap.org.
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