Corona: “New phase” but no end, according to prominent virologist

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Virologist Andreas Bergthaler sees the development at Corona during the year as a “new phase,” but one cannot speak of an end.

Bergthaler also has something to say about German virologist Christian Drosten’s statement that the covid pandemic is shifting toward “endemicity.” He said that the development has reached a “new phase” during the year, in which the risk of system overload from the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen is definitely “massively reduced.” However, given “Long Covid” and the continuing heavy burden on the health care system, he said, one cannot speak of an end.

“New phase” but no finale at Corona
Whether the current development, in which the Covid 19 pathogen continues to circulate prominently in the population but for the most part affects people who have already recovered or have been vaccinated, should be called an “endemic situation” is also a matter of definition or taste the researcher told the APA: “Basically, what we have seen in the past twelve months is that we have fortunately not experienced any new waves of system-critical proportions.” But even an endemic situation, in which an infectious disease that has become indigenous circulates more or less constantly in a limited area, is not positive per se, he said: malaria, which is endemic mainly in Africa, kills more than half a million people a year, according to World Health Organization (WHO) estimates.

The danger of “long covid” persists
As far as SARS-CoV-2 is concerned, the “potential threat to society as a whole has recently been massively reduced,” according to the researcher from the Medical University of Vienna and the Research Center for Molecular Medicine (CeMM) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW). However, Covid-19 still poses a relatively high risk to vulnerable groups, such as people with pre-existing conditions. The danger of being confronted with “Long Covid” also continues to exist. Bergthaler: “So I would be more cautious about declaring the pandemic over.”

  • source: vienna.at/picture: pixabay.com
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