Covid-19 is likely to become a seasonal disease like influenza, a new study suggests.
The study, published on September 15, in the journal Frontiers in Public Health noted that the virus is likely to become seasonal, but not before a vaccine and superior herd immunity are achieved.
Researchers from Qatar University in Doha and the American University of Beirut suggest that Sars-Cov-2 could possibly be affected by changing seasons which is similar to other human viruses like influenza.
Hassan Zaraket, the Senior study author and assistant professor of virology at the American University of Beirut said Covid-19 is here to stay, and it will continue to cause outbreaks year-round until heard immunity is achieved.
“Therefore, the public will need to learn to live with it and continue practicing the best prevention measures, including wearing of masks, physical distancing, hand hygiene and avoidance of gatherings,” he said.
The researchers foresee that as more people recover from Covid-19 and develop immunity, variables like temperature and humidity may have a larger impact on the spread of the virus.
Most viral respiratory infections tend to follow seasonal patterns with high incidence during winter in temperate regions and during the rainy season in tropical regions.
Influenza virus and respiratory syncytial virus have a single annual seasonal peak during winter in the Northern and Southern temperate regions.
The study says for a virus to follow a seasonal pattern, and thus wane in summer, its effective Reproduction Number (R0) should drop below 1. Further, it notes that warm temperatures and humidity might influence the host immune response and thus its susceptibility to infection by Sars-CoV-2.