The new coronavirus, which appeared in humans several months ago, may “never go away,” according to a senior official at the World Health Organization (WHO). So we may have to learn to “live with”.
While SARS-CoV-2 has already infected more than 4.3 million people worldwide, and killed nearly 300,000 of them (officially), we tend to think, probably out of hope, that the virus will only be passing through. But are we deluded? Should we already keep in mind that, given the virulence of the pathogen and its ability to spread, we will now have to “live with”?
The virus may never go away
In any case, this is the opinion shared by Michael Ryan, the director of health emergency matters at WHO. At a press conference held virtually from Geneva on Wednesday, the senior official assured that coronavirus could “never go away” and become an endemic disease with which we will have to contend.
During his speech, Michael Ryan notably drew a parallel with the HIV virus. “HIV has not gone away, but we got along with the virus,” he said. We have developed therapies and implemented preventive measures. Today people don’t feel as scared as they did before. ”
Today the situation is such that, “even if an effective vaccine could be developed – and there is no certainty that it will ever be – it will still take a massive effort to control the virus,” he adds. It’s important to be realistic. ”
There are indeed many diseases today which, despite the existence of effective vaccines or prevention, continue to prevail. Measles, which has made a highly visible return to the world in recent years, is a perfect example.
Hence the importance, as many countries begin to gradually lift their restrictive measures, to maintain a high level of vigilance. “His trajectory is in our hands. It’s everyone’s concern, we must all help stop this pandemic, ”he concluded, making direct reference to the measures of social distancing and the barrier measures imposed by many governments.
Especially since, according to a study published this Wednesday in the journal PNAS, if the spread of the new coronavirus by coughing and sneezing is well known, invisible microdroplets of saliva, which can also contain viral particles, could remain suspended in the air of a closed space for more than ten minutes.
If further research is needed to confirm this, it is important to take into account now that microdroplets can also play a role in the spread of the pandemic.