‘COVID will become endemic if no spike in cases for 3 months’

There is no threat of a COVID-19 third wave considering the current situation, said Director of Public Health G. Srinivasa Rao, adding that the low number of susceptible population, intensification of vaccination drive and weakening of Delta variant of coronavirus were considered to assess the current situation.

He, however, has urged people to get tested for the disease upon spotting symptoms instead of brushing it off as regular fever which could later lead to a severe infection and, possibly, death. He cited the example of a 17-year-old girl from Hyderabad who died in the third week of September after being diagnosed with an advanced stage of COVID-19.

“If there is no spike in cases till the end of December, and if a strong variant of coronavirus does not emerge, then COVID will become endemic,” said Dr Srinivasa Rao at a press conference at the State Health Campus, Koti, on Monday. He said an infectious disease breaks out as a pandemic, which turns into an epidemic and then becomes endemic.

Since the coming three months is packed with festivals, people have been urged to maintain COVID-appropriate behaviour.

The stages

COVID-19 was declared as a pandemic since many continents and countries were affected by the spread of the infectious disease more than normally expected, said B.R. Shamanna from the School of Medical Sciences, University of Hyderabad.

Explaining an epidemic, he said, “Like a pandemic, several cases of an infectious disease are reported in a region rapidly over a short period time against the expected rate. However, the infection will be restricted to a region, state or a country. Cholera is an example.”

A disease becomes endemic when it always exists almost all the time with a likely spike in cases on some occasions. “An example of this is malaria, which is always present in India. However, the numbers are more during and after monsoon,” added Prof Shamanna. Strong variants are not observed in an endemic.

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Printable version | Dec 8, 2021 6:10:06 PM |

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