Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci warns that the coronavirus could possibly become a seasonal virus.
At the White House coronavirus briefing Wednesday, March 25th, Fauci said that hopefully there will be a treatment and a vaccine by the time this occurs.
Fauci told a briefing the virus was beginning to take root in the southern hemisphere, where winter is on its way.
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“And the reason I say that is that what we’re starting to see now in the Southern Hemisphere — in southern Africa and in the Southern-Hemisphere countries — is that we’re having cases that are appearing as they go into their winter season. And if, in fact, they have a substantial outbreak, it will be inevitable that we need to be prepared that we’ll get a cycle around the second time.” Fauci said.
“If there is a major outbreak there, then we will inevitably have to be prepared for the second [coronavirus] cycle.”
“It completely emphasizes the need to do what we do to develop the vaccine, test it quickly and try to prepare it so that we have access to the vaccine for this next cycle.”
Two potential coronavirus vaccines – one in the US and one in China – are currently being tested in humans, but may take up to a year and a half to be implemented.
Potential remedies are also being explored, including some new medications and others that have already been used to treat other diseases, including the antimalarial drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine.
“I know we’ll be able to end it now, but we really need to be ready for another cycle,” Fauci concluded.
Fauci’s comments suggesting the virus does better in colder weather than it does in hot and humid conditions follows a recent Chinese research paper — still preliminary and awaiting peer-review — that reached the same conclusion.
The reasons are thought to include that respiratory droplet remain airborne for longer in colder weather, and that cold weather weakens immunity.
Another potential reason is that viruses degrade more quickly on hotter surfaces, possibly because a protective layer of fat that envelops them dries out quicker.
However, the slower infection does not mean that the virus will disappear, as Australia has so far confirmed almost 2,500 Covid-19 cases and eight deaths.