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COVID19: On A Path To Become A Seasonal Virus ?



The occurrence of this virus is one whose effect would not easily be forgotten and it has become a major debate as to whether it would be normalized and contained or wiped out.

The world has witnessed a lot of pandemics; the plague of Athens, the flu and the Ebola outbreak, and covid19 just adds to the list of a terrain of human enemy, however, the main question is that, will corona virus become a seasonal virus?

The reality of COVID-19 outbreak becoming a seasonal virus is a feat that can only be achieved when the population of the world achieve herd immunity-which means a lot of people becomes immune to the constant spread. The possibility of the population achieving herd immunity increases with each day but its still way short of getting there therefore, the spread of the disease, although its an eye sore, is something we would continue to see.

Preventive measures are in place to make sure the spread is reduced and those measures have seen the norms of our day-to-day activities changed.
How does a virus become seasonal?
Taking into consideration some virus who scientist believe are similar to covid19 due to their mode of infection; the Flu and other corona virus responsible for the common colds, it can be said of COVID-19 to exhibit similar patterns. The flu when observed was discovered to become more intense in winter and dwindle in the summer of temperate regions. The reason for viruses becoming seasonal is still not very vivid but not without a hypothesis to its effect.

Respiratory viruses-virus that attacks the respiratory part of the human body; nose and lungs- under which COVID-19 can be classified are said to stall longer and become stable in the areas with cold air and low humidity.

According to research, for an infectious disease case to decline the R0 which is the basic reproduction number of the disease and the average number of people who contacts the disease from a single person needs to drop significantly below 1, With covid19 basic reproduction number above 2, it indicates the spread of the disease is on a high and although the disease may be seasonal, the high number of transmissions would not allow the seasonal effect to kick in.

However, when people start achieving herd immunity through natural behaviors or vaccine the basic reproduction number drops significantly and the virus becomes prone to seasonal fluctuations.

It is noted that should a vaccine be produced the spread of the disease would be reduced but the virus might not be eliminated as the vaccine would not be 100% efficient and there would be other factors such as the effect of the vaccine wanning over time or the virus mutating and evading the immune protection.

However, with the provision of the vaccine the basic reproduction number drops significantly and it would allow the seasonal fluctuation of the virus to occur, therefore it would be affected by the seasons. These are speculations based on the behavioral pattern of respiratory viruses.

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