Pandemic, endemic phase, seasonal virus … The World Health Organization today called for careful use of the terms that define the evolution of the virus.
During the first week of May, the Committee on Emergency Situations of WHO's Covid panel, which meets quarterly, is expected to decide whether to maintain maximum alert, Michael Ryan, head of the WHO's Health Emergency Management Programme, told a news conference in Geneva.
The official states that he hopes that with this opportunity the committee will have to give "positive advice" to the head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (to whom the final decision belongs), "regarding their assessment of the course of the pandemic and the existence or not of a public health emergency of international concern".
< p>The World Health Organization declared this maximum alert on January 30, 2020 — when the world had fewer than 100 cases and no deaths outside of China. And when Dr. Tedros declared the situation a pandemic in March 2020, the world had fully grasped the seriousness of the health threat.
Today, Dr. Ryan emphasized that "we are not turning off a switch to automatically go into an endemic condition. It is much more likely that we will go from a bumpy road to a more predictable model.
He also asked that care be taken in the choice of words. "I think there is a misunderstanding. “Very often respiratory viruses, for example – like influenza – do not go through an endemic phase,” he said. "They go from a pandemic to very weak levels of activity, with possibly seasonal outbreaks or outbreaks occurring on an annual or biannual basis,", he explained.
As for Covid, which is caused by a respiratory virus, the World The Health Organization therefore expects to pass “into a phase of low frequency with possible outbreaks, especially when in certain seasons people congregate indoors”. of houses and buildings due to the cold, added Michael Ryan.
However, he insisted that the virus itself will not disappear: "We will not eradicate it and SARS-CoV-2 will join the list of respiratory viruses, such as influenza" and "will continue to cause serious respiratory diseases".
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