clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Coronavirus ‘may never go away,’ official says. Here’s why

COVID-19 could hang around like HIV, official warns

In this Tuesday, May 12, 2020 photo, people walking on the boardwalk in Belmar, N.J. as the town prepared for the summer season amid the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. Phil Murphy is expected to issue guidelines on Thursday, May 14, 2020, on when and how New Jersey’s beaches can begin to reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
In this Tuesday, May 12, 2020 photo, people walking on the boardwalk in Belmar, N.J. as the town prepared for the summer season amid the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. Phil Murphy is expected to issue guidelines on Thursday, May 14, 2020, on when and how New Jersey’s beaches can begin to reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
AP

The novel coronavirus may “never go away,” a top official from the World Health Organization has warned.

Dr. Mike Ryan — who works as the WHO’s authority on emergencies — said Wednesday in a briefing that the virus might hang around like HIV or AIDS. It might never totally disappear.

“It is important to put this on the table: This virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities, and this virus may never go away,” Ryan said, according to Reuters.

He added, “I think it is important we are realistic and I don’t think anyone can predict when this disease will disappear. I think there are no promises in this and there are no dates. This disease may settle into a long problem, or it may not be.”

A COVID-19 vaccine might not eliminate the virus completely. For example, measles continues to linger around the world even though there is a vaccine for it.

More than 100 potential vaccines are in development for the coronavirus. Some have even reached the clinical trial phase, according to Reuters.

There have been more than 4.3 million cases of the virus across the world, according to Johns Hopkins University.

WHO infectious disease epidemiologist Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove said the future of our species remains in our hand, according to CNN.

“The trajectory of this outbreak is in our hands,” Van Kerkhove said. “The global community has come together to work in solidarity. We have seen countries bring this virus under control. We have seen countries use public health measures.”