When will the pandemic become endemic?

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – Will the COVID-19 pandemic finally become endemic?

Dr. Jensen Hyde says yes – but multiple factors will have to come into play.

“You think about the flu, you think about influenza, we have a flu season because there’s a season in which transition is higher but it’s relatively predictable and it’s also very manageable and that’s where we aren’t yet with COVID-19.”

She also says the word endemic can mean different things.

“What it means is that it’s transmitting. It’s being transmitted in the population at predictable and consistently inconsistent rates.”

Where you live also plays a factor.

“Different countries have different tolerance of rates of transmission and some of that has to do with the population some of it has to do with the healthcare system, some of it has to do with different regulations.”

But what can end up playing the biggest factor in our ability to manage the virus is the number of people who get vaccinated.

“When you have the vast majority of the population who has either seen this virus or is fully vaccinated against it, you limit the number of possible hosts.”

This would, in turn, make the virus endemic.

“When you limit the number of possible hosts, particularly their number of possible hosts that can get severe disease and therefore overwhelm the healthcare system, then a disease can become endemic.”

But when that exactly will happen – Dr. Hyde says it’s tough to say.

“It has to do with what we do between now and then, so having 50 percent of the population vaccinated is not going to be sufficient to create an endemic situation.”

Categories: COVID-19, Featured, Hamilton County, Health, Local News