BERKELEY (Up News Info SF) – A professor of biostatistics at the University of California School of Public Health at Berkeley said Wednesday that it will be at least a few weeks before the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the US clears up. USA
Speaking in a virtual town hall with other UC-Berkeley health experts, Professor Nicholas Jewell said: "The first indication of whether the rate is slowing in California and the United States will come in a few weeks."
Jewell said reducing the speed at which COVID-19 reproduces from one person to another is a key factor in trying to control the spread of the disease.
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Jewell said: "A reproduction rate of less than 1 percent is necessary to prevent a significant percentage of the population from becoming infected."
But he said that if the reproductive rate is 2 percent or more, at least 50 percent of the population will contract the virus.
Jewell said there is "ironic compensation,quot; if all current shelter-in-place rules and social distancing mandates are followed by all and result in a decrease in the spread of COVID-19.
He said the good thing about this "flattening the curve,quot; scenario is that it will prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed by a sudden influx of coronavirus patients.
But Jewell said the downside to limiting the number of people who get the virus right now is that there could be an increase in new cases in a few months because most people would not have developed an immunity to COVID-19.
He said: "We could be vulnerable to a rebound because not many people would become infected."
Some health experts believe that people who get the coronavirus will develop an immunity to it.
Jewell said that even in the best case where the spread of COVID-19 is limited, the virus will not be eradicated and will remain endemic until a vaccine is developed, a process that is expected to take at least 12 to 18 months.
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