Covid-19: resistant variants, unmanageable winters, new pandemic… the 5 scenarios of European health authorities

Covid-19: resistant variants, unmanageable winters, new pandemic... the 5 scenarios of European health authorities

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In a report on Covid-19 published on Monday, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) outlined 5 scenarios likely to arise in the next 10 years.

“SARS-CoV-2 is here to stay, given continued high levels of viral circulation and the possibility of new variants of concern.” The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) persists and signs: Covid-19 could become a subject present in our daily lives for several years.

In a report published this Monday, August 29the European health authorities draw up the 5 scenarios that could await us within the European Union in the coming years.

The scenarios envisaged by the ECDC.

The scenarios envisaged by the ECDC.
ECDC

The ECDC describes this document as a “roadmap” which will follow us until 2032. The authorities thus depict the probable situations, based on currently accessible scientific data, which Europeans could face.

Scenario 1: a “diminished threat”

This is the most favorable scenario, depicted by the ECDC. In this specific context, the population would be immunized against Covid-19, whether by infection or vaccination. Symptoms related to the virus would remain mild. In this case, SARS-CoV-2 is still circulating, but even if new variants emerge, they would have a limited impact not only on our body but also on our health system.

The ECDC explains that it would thus require a particularly high vaccination coverage, and vaccines which make it possible to fight against several variants for this scenario to hold. However, the European authorities claim that in the context of this first scenario, the appearance of a new variant with different properties, and potentially more dangerous, cannot be ruled out.

Scenario 2: “regular infections”

This second scenario closely resembles the first, except that it incorporates the idea of ​​new variants that are increasingly resistant to the immunity conferred by vaccination. In this case, the vaccines which make it possible to fight against Covid-19 are renewed each year by vaccination campaigns organized by the authorities.

Mortality linked to Covid-19 would remain relatively low. Hospitalizations linked to the virus would not, however, be negligible.

Scenario 3: “difficult winters”

Under this scenario, ECDC anticipates a difficult situation. New variants are emerging at a faster rate and these are more resistant to natural and vaccine immunity.

In this case, reinfections with the virus are numerous. The ECDC anticipates a “Covid season” there: the pressure on the hospital systems of the various European countries would then be particularly strong, especially between November and February. In addition, the population would show a less and less assertive desire to be vaccinated.

Scenario 4: “unmanageable winters”

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control predicts particularly difficult winters here in the various European hospitals. The number of patients requiring hospitalization would exceed the reception capacities of health establishments. In this case, the European health authorities recommend equipping homes with individual protection for exposed people. The wearing of the compulsory mask would thus make its return.

Scenario 5: a new pandemic

The ECDC anticipates the appearance of a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 which would largely escape the immunity acquired with existing vaccines. This would lead to a wave of major contaminations, and serious forms of the disease which would have a strong impact on hospitals. The health authorities are planning here a return to restrictive measures, such as confinements or curfews.

To avoid the worst, the ECDC insists and indicates that even if “the current scenarios seem less severe, adequate monitoring and control systems must be put in place to detect changes in the level of threat posed by SARS-CoV -2, and preparedness must be strengthened to take effective and proportionate action in response to rapidly deteriorating situations.”

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