With over fifteen million confirmed infections worldwide and an increasing death toll, the coronavirus pandemic continues to accelerate. The medical community and healthcare systems are now under more pressure than ever to devise a coronavirus control plan in order to end the crisis as soon as possible. However, an increasing number of experts are stating that it may actually be impossible to eradicate the virus completely.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is one of the top health professionals of the US and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is among such experts.
In a recent statement, he has stated that it may be impossible to reach zero cases of infection worldwide given that the virus is highly contagious and can spread even if a person follows all preventive measures.
During a live-streamed event hosted by TB Alliance, Dr. Fauci said it is highly unlikely that the virus will be eradicated entirely and the infection will disappear just like previous coronavirus-related infections such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome or SARS-CoV-1 did.
Although previous infectious diseases and epidemics were also contagious, none of them match the level of the novel coronavirus, which can spread through physical contact, droplets from sneezing, coughing and talking in close proximity with another person.
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In addition, the latest report on the coronavirus transmission has shown that airborne transmission of the virus is also possible, which means that the virus can travel and infect another person simply by floating in the air.
Although the World Health Organization has established that the primary source remains to be coughing and sneezing, airborne transmission can also be the cause for contracting the virus especially indoors in malls, offices, schools, and other similar places.
Therefore, most of the public spaces are still very unsafe unless every person follows the six feet distance rules and wears a face covering. However, in the past few weeks, it has been observed that many people are no longer following the preventive measures for coronavirus control, specifically in the US.
According to the John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center, the US currently has the highest cases of the infection in the world and has set records for the daily increase in the cases with over fifty-five thousand new infections being reported in a single day.
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In his new statement, Dr. Fauci emphasizes that the current epidemic is difficult to control and needs effort from the government, health care workers as well as the general public.
Mandates and rules are unlikely to be of any use if people continue to ignore them and risk contracting the virus as well as spreading it to others. Following preventive measures such as wearing a mask, maintaining social distance, washing hands frequently, and limiting time outdoors are fundamental.
There is a need for good coronavirus control policies and a vaccine for coronavirus control, says Dr. Fauci. A combination of these two along with herd immunity can hopefully help resolve the crisis around the world.