Novel coronavirus may spread for at least another 18 months, says study

WION Web Team New York, New York, United States of America May 01, 2020, 03.11 PM(IST)

Coronavirus across the world Photograph:( AFP )

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The course of the pandemic also could be influenced by a vaccine; however, a vaccine will likely not be available until at least sometime in 2021.

The novel coronavirus is likely to keep spreading for at least another 18 months to two years -- until 60 to 70 per cent of the population has been infected, researchers have said.

The team of researchers also suggested that the US should prepare for a worst-case scenario that includes a second big wave of coronavirus infections in the fall and winter.

Even in a best-case scenario, people will continue to die from the virus, they predicted -- as the herd immunity gradually develops in the human population.

COVID-19 is most comparable to a pandemic strain of influenza. It appears to spread more easily than flu because of a longer incubation period, more asymptomatic spread, and a higher R0. R0 is the average number of other people infected by each patient.

A higher R0 means more people will need to get infected and become immune before the pandemic can end.

The course of the pandemic also could be influenced by a vaccine; however, a vaccine will likely not be available until at least sometime in 2021, the team said.