COVID-19: Novel Coronavirus May Soon Become Seasonal

Governments and scientists across the world have been trying to find an effective way to eliminate the novel coronavirus. But health experts warned that there is a chance that the potentially deadly virus could stay permanently in the global population. 

The new coronavirus causes a disease called COVID-19 that involves fevers, coughing and severe lung infections. Experts said it is likely to become a common respiratory disease that spreads seasonally like flu, Business Insider reported.

"This is going to be with us for some time – it's endemic in human populations and not going to go away without a vaccine," Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease expert at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told Business Insider. 

Amid the growing number of infected people in many countries, including China, South Korea and the U.S., the novel coronavirus is expected to become less active this spring and coming summer. Doctors said the warm weather could help slow down the virus' spread like the seasonal flu.

However, the coronavirus may not go away for good. There could be fewer infections in summer but the virus is likely to return and become more active in the fall and winter every year.

"We know respiratory viruses are very seasonal, but not exclusively," William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University, told CNN. "One would hope that the gradual spring will help this virus recede. We can't be sure of that.”

Cooler temperatures help respiratory viruses get a stronger protective gel-like coating. The hardened shell helps them to survive long enough in the air and move from one person to another. 

There are already four other coronaviruses that have become seasonal across the world. These viruses cause mild common colds and pneumonia.

Adalja added the novel coronavirus discovered in 2019 is highly likely to be already endemic in some countries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported in late February the first possible case of coronavirus "community spread" in the U.S.

That means the virus may have been moving from one resident to another, even in areas where people have no history of traveling to affected countries. 

Coronavirus The 2019-nCoV, a new type of coronavirus, was first discovered at a small animal and seafood market in the city of Wuhan in China. Pixabay