New report says pandemic could last for two years – and may not subside until 70% of the population has immunity

As coronavirus restrictions around the world are being lifted, a new report warns the pandemic that has already killed more than 230,000 people likely won’t be contained for two years. The modeling study from the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota also says that about 70% of people need to be immune in order to bring the virus to a halt. For the study, experts looked at eight major influenza pandemics dating back to the 1700s, as well as data about the new coronavirus, to help forecast how COVID-19 may spread over the coming months and years. Out of the eight past flu pandemics, scientists said seven had a second substantial peak about six months after the first one. Additionally, some had “smaller waves of cases over the course of 2 years” after the initial outbreak.
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