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Covid-19 will become endemic but with decreased potency over time, scientists believe

BMJ 2021; 372 doi: (Published 18 February 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;372:n494

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  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. London

The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus will not be eradicated but will become endemic, continuing to circulate in pockets of the global population for years to come and causing outbreaks in regions where it had been eliminated, scientists working in the field believe.

But the impact of the virus on the world in terms of deaths, illness, and the need for social isolation will lessen, they say, as more of the population acquires some immunity to it through exposure to the virus or from vaccination.

The predictions come from a survey carried out in January by the journal Nature of more than 100 immunologists, infectious disease researchers, and virologists working on SARS-CoV-2.1 Almost 90% of respondents said that they expected the coronavirus to become endemic, although more than a third thought that it would be possible to eliminate SARS-CoV-2 from some regions of the world.

While there would be a continual risk of covid-19 outbreaks in areas where …

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