Covid: the three scenarios considered by the WHO about the future of the epidemic

Published by Graziella L. · Published on 4 April 2022 at 11h24
As the Covid-19 epidemic is increasing again, after being calmer for one month, it is difficult to consider what will happen in the coming months. The WHO came up with three different scenarios as for the future of the epidemic.

Will Covid-19 grow into an endemic disease? Will new and more virulent variants break out? Or will it completely disappear overnight? No one can say whether this or that scenario is the right one, we shall wait several months to see the trend coming up, as the epidemic continuously fluctuates between increases and decreases in global contamination tolls.

And yet, the World Health Organization released a study earlier this week involving three different scenarios about the future of the Covid-19 pandemic, from the most optimistic one to the most catastrophic one. The WHO considers the most likely scenarios of the three is a crisis exit with a virus growing less virulent. Thanks to growing herd immunity, a decrease in the severity of the virus is likely. The organization director general even said: “the severity of disease it causes reduces over time as immunity increases due to vaccination and infection”.

Another scenario is related to the outbreak of new but less dangerous variants. As we have been seeing since mid-March, new infection peaks can appear. But as variants seem less virulent, the hospitalization toll does not follow the contamination toll, which could enable hospitals not to be overcrowded. In that case, vaccine boosters could be necessary for the most vulnerable individuals as immunity decreases.

Last but not least, the WHO considers the worst-case scenario being a new and more severe variant. It could involve a modification of the existing vaccines, as for the cover of populations will no longer be guaranteed against a more concerning and transmissible variant than Omicron or BA.2. Although this scenario is less likely, it is always right to stay cautious.

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