How long will we live with the coronavirus and wear a mask? Specialist answers questions


Photo: Wilson Dias / AgĂȘncia Brasil

The coronavirus will continue to exist and affect some people, such as yellow fever, malaria and flu, even if there is a vaccine against covid-19, according to pediatrician Renato Kfouri, director of SBIm (Brazilian Society of Immunizations).

The expert explains that cases of covid-19 will continue to happen, but not as a major epidemic. He points out that there will be a vaccine, but it is not yet known whether it will serve the entire population. “The disease will no longer be epidemic but endemic and precautionary measures will be relaxed as a result. This is the scenario,” he says.

He explains that the high circulation of a virus ends when herd immunity occurs, which can be achieved with a significant portion of the population already infected or immunized by means of a vaccine. “Then you don’t have enough susceptible people to maintain a chain of transmission,” he explains.

According to Kfouri, this number is a bit “magical”. “It is not known how much it is”. He explains that, for H1N1, about 44% of the infected population was sufficient to stop the epidemic of this virus in the country in 2009. He also believes that, like any respiratory virus, the new coronavirus will acquire seasonality. “So there will be more cases in the winter, in the Northern region first, as with the flu virus, and we will live with it as a potentially serious disease, with 1,000 or 2,000 cases per year, for example, since it will be endemic “, he analyzes.

In the doctor’s opinion, the use of a mask, hand hygiene and social distance, there will also be relaxation when the disease becomes endemic

“Nobody will be wearing a mask for life. When the risk of contracting the virus decreases, these non-pharmacological measures will relax. They are very hard measures that cannot be maintained for a prolonged period, because no one can take it,” he says.

The doctor warns that at that moment, the greater the number of people circulating, the greater the contagion, since this herd immunity has not yet been achieved. “It depends a lot on people to be controlled more quickly,” he says.

And a second wave can happen, when the most susceptible people resume social life, but, in general, this new contagion is less serious, according to the expert. “Sometimes even a third wave can happen. Some variables can interfere in this course, such as a virus mutation, which is unlikely, or a lot of vaccine and everyone being vaccinated, but the expectation is that there will be this evolution”, he concludes.

* With information from Portal R7


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