Would the coronavirus have triggered nothing more than a clear cold one day? That’s at least what one US scientist claims. Jennie Lavine, an infectiologist at Emory University in Atlanta, believes that in the future, the SARS-CoV-2 virus might lose its fear.
The medical scientist predicts that Covid-19’s present causative agent will become an endemic pathogen, implying that it will occur in the future only locally. Vaccinations could become futile after that. However, because the progress of the Corona pandemic in the coming months is still completely uncertain, this prediction should be viewed with caution.
Is Corona going to turn into a cold? SARS-CoV-2 might end up being comparable to other coronaviruses
As Lavine explains in Science Magazine, she expects SARS-CoV-2 to behave like the other identified coronaviruses named NL63, 229E, OC43 and HKU1. Such viruses regularly cause epidemics in which, in particular, small children become sick. However, those infections are rarely fatal and are much like normal colds or flu.
In an earlier laboratory trial with coronavirus 229E, however, re-infection was likely after just one year, so full immunity is not preserved as with earlier coronaviruses. The cause for this is presumably the drop in antibody titers. Similar warnings are provided for current coronary artery infections, i.e. SARS-CoV-2 and Covid-19.
— Prof. Shane Crotty (@profshanecrotty) January 6, 2021
Cold and corona: other coronavirus infections were partially immune
However, the re-infection led to shorter viral elimination during the longitudinal sample and the participants remained asymptomatic. Lavine attributes this to a lifetime partial immunity developed by people after an initial infection. According to the infectious expert, also at an older age, most individuals have antibodies to the four previously identified coronaviruses.
Lavine thus believes strongly that SARS-CoV-2 is still a pathogen in the next few years, likely causing just a coolness.