Posts Tagged ‘Seasonality’

The Seasonality of COVID-19

Reporter: Irina Robu, PhD

There are several similarities between SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV, because both viruses share a high degree of homology to SARS-like coronaviruses isolated from bats. The entire genome of SARS-CoV-2 has 86% similarity with SARS-CoV. COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 has a higher transmissibility than SARS-CoV, where more patients with COVID-19 have mild symptoms that contribute to spread because the patients are usually missed and not isolated.

Even in terms of disease dynamics, the similarities include transmission route via respiratory droplets. The angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), found in the lower respiratory tract of humans, has been identified as the receptor used for cell entry for both SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2.

So even though the viruses seem similar, there are some strong differences as well. Patients reports from China, Europe and United states show that some patients have also cardiac issues. The scientist do not truly understand what is happening at this point, whether people are having heart attacks (myocardial infarction) or whether the virus is actually invading the heart tissue to cause inflammation (myocarditis)

The great concern is that many people are asymptomatic with this condition, have no symptoms. This is what makes the virus so complicated is because you can have a group of patients severely sick and in the intensive care unit and in some cases, there are older individuals and some with underlying diabetes and heart disease, hypertension, renal disease.

Even though, the US has a large number of cases of over one million and at least 84,000 deaths, but due to undertesting, the true numbers of cases are probably far higher. The big unknown is that there is no clear understanding what is going to happen in the next coming months or years with the virus. However, the investigation models indicate that the virus has a probably of returning seasonally in the coming years.

Yet, people have to be mindful and recognize that even if we begin relaxing social distancing and transmission diminishes, that it could come back in these periodic waves, as suggested by the model.




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