Scientists warn that even if the spread of the coronavirus drops during the spring and summer, that situation shouldn’t be interpreted as ending the epidemic.
The reduced number of people who are ill during the summer should be seen as a valuable opportunity to prepare for next winter. The new spread of coronavirus is expected to infect 100 times more people.
Currently, the scientists from the universities of Basel and Stockholm are testing the effects of seasonal variation on COVID-19.
Their model suggests that we are experiencing only a “small peak” at the beginning of 2020. The true virus strike should be expected in the winter of 2021.
Based on various cases of the coronavirus, researchers believe that the transmission rate will indeed drop by spring and summer. Unfortunately, they state that it will then start to rise again. It is estimated to infect as many as 100 million people.
Dr. Emma Hodcroft told Sky News it was ‘difficult to have the correct numbers’ but she said the model was ‘not an unreasonable scenario’.
She added that “she won’t focus on absolute numbers” but she also said that, “the general message is that there can be significantly more cases if there is a seasonal impact.”
“These predictions are the ones we made based on assumptions about how the virus is transmitted seasonally,” Dr. Hodcroft said.
Importantly, it isn’t yet known how the new coronavirus will be affected by the change of season. There is a likelihood that we could witness the peak transmission of this virus. Although, this isn’t the case with other seasonal viruses.
Dr. Richard Neher is the lead author of the paper, currently titled “The Potential Impact of Seasonal Forcing on the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic.”
The main thing is, if the spread of the virus decreases in the summer, we should be careful because then there would be a real chance of experiencing the peak of the infection next winter – said Dr. Neher.
“If we are not aware of this possibility, we could be in trouble when winter comes again,” he added.
After this climax, the model suggests that the virus could become a regular, seasonal, flu-like phenomenon.