“See an exponential increase”: Drosten fears many infections after vacation

“See Exponential Rise”
Drosten fears many infections after vacation

The corona virus has not been banned as quickly as initially hoped. Even by the end of the year, one does not have the impression that the pandemic is over, according to Drosten. The virologist assumes that the number of infections will increase significantly after the summer holidays. This is mainly due to the BA.5 variant.

The virologist Christian Drosten expects a very high number of new corona cases after the summer holidays in Germany. “I hope that the school holidays will slow down the increase in the number of cases somewhat. But from September, I’m afraid we will have very high numbers of cases,” said the head of the virology department at the Berlin Charité to the “Spiegel”. If nothing is done, there will be “a lot of sick leave” in working life.

“We are actually seeing an exponential increase in the number of cases again,” warned Drosten. “The BA.5 variant is just very transmissible, and people lose their transmission protection from the last vaccination at the same time.” In other countries you can see that with very high case numbers, the number of hospitalizations and deaths rose again. “Unfortunately, that will also be the case with us. Overall, however, far fewer people will become seriously ill and die than in 2021.”

He does not believe that by the end of the year one will have the impression that the pandemic is over, said the corona expert. In January, Drosten had expressed the hope that Germany could declare the pandemic over in the course of the year. The virologist recommended avoiding infection as much as possible – also because of the risk of Long Covid. “Unfortunately, an infection is inevitable in the long term. And little by little, a mucous membrane-specific protection actually forms, which I assume makes the overall population immunity more resilient.”

On the other hand, the virus is also evolving. “I assume that at some point a new equilibrium will settle in: the population’s immunity from vaccinations and infections will eventually be so strong that the virus will become less important. Then we will be in an endemic state.” In the worst case, this could “take a few more winters”. A disease is considered endemic if it occurs in a region with a relatively constant number of cases.

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