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Is the Covid pandemic finally nearing its end? | Aris Katzourakis

The virus’s behaviour in highly vaccinated countries may offer clues to our future with the disease

  • Aris Katzourakis is a professor in viral evolution at Oxford University

More than two years on from the realisation that we are dealing with a novel pandemic, we are still nervously wondering what comes next. In the UK, Covid infection rates appear to have fallen to their lowest level since the summer of 2021, as has the number of deaths the virus is causing, but we know that new variants are still likely to emerge. So when will the end of this pandemic come, and what might it look like?

This is a very difficult question, because we won’t know we have passed the end of the pandemic until some time has elapsed. The expectation is that eventually the disease will reach endemic levels, meaning immunity in the population will balance out the reproduction of the virus, resulting in a stable level of infection year on year. That stability could include regular, repeatable fluctuations such as seasonality, but we won’t know that stability has been achieved unless the same pattern of infections is observed for more than one consecutive year.

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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