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How will the world decide when the pandemic is over?  – NBC Chicago

How will the world decide when the pandemic is over?

There is no clear definition of the start and end of a pandemic, and the degree of threat posed by a global epidemic can vary from country to country.

“It’s a somewhat subjective judgment because it’s not just about the number of cases. It’s about severity and impact, ”says Dr Michael Ryan, World Health Organization chief of emergency.

In January 2020, the WHO called the virus a global health crisis “of international concern”. continent and many other health officials said it could be described as such.

The pandemic can be largely considered over when the WHO decides the virus is no longer an emergency of international concern, a designation that its expert committee reassesses every three months. But the timing of when the most acute phases of the crisis subside within countries may vary.

“There won’t be a day when someone says, ‘OK, the pandemic is over,'” says Dr. Chris Woods, infectious disease expert at Duke University. While there are no universally agreed criteria, he said countries are likely to seek a sustained reduction in cases over time.

Scientists expect COVID-19 to eventually become a more predictable virus like the flu, which means it will cause seasonal outbreaks but not the huge outbreaks we are seeing now. But even then, Woods says certain habits, such as wearing masks in public places, could endure.

“Even after the pandemic is over, COVID will still be with us,” he says.

Pfizer says a booster dose of its COVID-19 vaccine may offer protection against the omicron variant even though the initial two doses appear slightly less effective

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