According to The San Francisco Chronicle, the Covid-19 continues to evolve and produce new strains of the virus, resulting in a new outbreak every four to six months. Health experts said that if the current trend continues, the infectiousness of the coronavirus will soon surpass that of measles, the most contagious virus known today.
Experts also pointed out that it could take years for the virus to mutate to the point where it is no more severe than the common cold. The coronavirus strain, which is now primarily spreading, could be five to ten times more infectious than the original strain that caused the Wuhan outbreak in late 2019.
(Nurses are registering information in Canada)
Recently, each new variant strain of the virus has become more infectious than its parent strain.
Omicron, for example, is three times more infectious than Delta, and the Omicron subtypes BA.2 and BA.2.12.1 are 20% and 30% more infectious than Omicron, respectively. The basic regeneration number of these subtype strains is most likely close to 15, which is comparable to measles.
“Theoretically, there is no upper limit to the infectiousness of the coronavirus,” Robert Siegel, an infectious disease scientist at Stanford University, said. “Measles is widely regarded as the Michael Jordan of viruses, but the coronavirus has the potential to usurp the throne because we provide the ideal environment for it to do so.”
(Comparison of different strains of Covid-19)
Many scientists believe that while Covid-19 is becoming more rapidly transmitted, it is also becoming less lethal and patients’ illnesses are becoming milder. However, there is no guarantee that the virus will mutate along these lines, and it may take years for the virus to mutate to the level of a common cold.
“My view is that the virulence of the coronavirus will get weaker and will keep decreasing until it only causes symptoms of the common cold, but it may take five years, and we can’t just sit back and watch during that time,” Jay Levy, an epidemiologist at the University of California said.
(A massive PCR test in China)
Until scientists work out how the Covid-19 mutates and ways to slow its evolutionary process, the most effective way to avoid a spike in cases, severe illnesses and deaths is still to take precautions, such as vaccinations and masks, health experts said.
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