On Monday, the world passed an extremely grim milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic, surpassing one million deaths worldwide from the highly infectious virus. With a vaccine just months away, according to the government and various health experts, many people are wondering if and when coronavirus will be eliminated completely. However, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading coronavirus expert, it will likely be with us forever. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
"I Don't Think You're Going to Eradicate It"
During an interview on Tuesday with the American Lung Association's podcast Lungcast, the key member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force revealed exactly what would have to happen for us to get anywhere close to eradicating the virus.
"I think it's so easily transmissible that I don't think it's going to disappear like SARS," Dr. Fauci admitted to Albert Rizzo, MD, Chief Medical Officer of the American Lung Association, when asked what the future will be like.
However, the best case scenario would involve two things happening. "Whether it becomes seasonal in the sense of returning and being around chronically, is going to depend completely on the level of efficacy of the virus and how many people get vaccinated," he explained.
"If it's a really effective vaccine and most everybody wants to and does get vaccinated, you could probably come close to eliminating it from the country," he continued. "I don't think you're going to eradicate it."
Unfortunately, if there isn't a good vaccine, or people opt not to get vaccinated, coronavirus will be here to stay. "Then you might see it hanging around just the same way as the common cold viruses hang around, likely seasonal, not completely seasonal, but not disappearing," he pointed out.
The biggest issue with this happening is that COVID-19 is much more deadly than the common cold.
"That would be a real problem because the common cold viruses generally don't kill old people nor do they kill people with diabetes and obesity and hypertension. This virus does," he stated. So I would hate to see this virus hang around for a bunch of seasons. I'd like to see it get eliminated. And that's the reason why I say my hope is in that we get an effective vaccine and that a lot of people take that vaccine."
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How to Avoid COVID-19
Do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place: Wear your face mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.