4 years later, COVID remains a year-round threat. Here’s why this virus isn’t seasonal quite yet – CBC

Scientists bracing for another summer wave as virus continues to evolve

Jun 08, 2024

A cursory glance at Canada’s wastewater trends for COVID-19 reveals a messy, unpredictable picture: Viral loads ebb and flow all throughout the year, at different times, in different cities.

While SARS-CoV-2 is now a familiar threat, the virus isn’t neatly seasonal. It still circulates year-round, humming in the background. And for the fifth year in a row, some scientists are bracing for the possibility of a small summer wave.

That reality might come as a surprise to anyone who hoped this virus would quickly join the typical colder-weather cold and flu season, offering a break from COVID infections over the warmer months. But we’re not quite there yet.

“When you look at the other four coronaviruses — the cause of 25 per cent of our common colds — they do have this really stark seasonality,” said infectious diseases specialist Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. “But we don’t know how long it took for them to settle into that pattern.”

SARS-CoV-2, on the other hand, is still in its infancy. And its spike protein, which allows the virus to penetrate our cells and cause infections, keeps mutating at a brisk pace.

Read more: https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/summer-cold-covid-2024-1.7227336

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