The Sars-Cov-2 virus spreads seasonally throughout the planet. A year and a half after the start of the pandemic, a scientific consensus is being formed. It remains to be seen whether vaccines will be able to prevent further winter waves.
The Covid19 virus does not like sunny days. It is becoming more and more clear. With the onset of summer, Sars-Cov-2 gradually disappears. “This year again in the spring, when there were no real prevention and very odd measures from country to country in the Northern Hemisphere, universally we have seen the virus subside. So yes, there is a virus season”, Virologist Didier confirms Trono on Friday at 19:30.
With the current state of knowledge, it is impossible to know whether seasonality was actually responsible for the previous year’s captive victories. But “this year, the seasonality of the virus has been proven”, underlines the head of the Laboratory of Virology and Genetics at EPFL.
Delving into the figures, we also see that there has been a decline in the number of deaths in the Northern Hemisphere since May 2020. Almost symmetrically, they increased in the Southern Hemisphere, which was entering winter. Despite the arrival of the first vaccines, the mirror effect has remained the same since spring 2021.
Like other viruses, the exact causes remain a mystery. The same season for influenza has been observed for over a century. But scientists are still scratching their heads to find out the reason. “It’s probably multifactorial. There’s temperature, which makes the virus spread less well when it’s hot. So is the cold, which probably makes our respiratory cilia and our immune system less effective.” , lists Didier Trono.
break the wave of winter
So summer and sunny days may be more effective in eradicating the virus than some health measures. What complicates the work of the government, which will have to anticipate the return of the virus in the fall. However, the Federal Office of Public Health is hopeful that the vaccines will manage to survive the next winter wave.
“If we didn’t have a vaccine, we would have remembered what we fell into last time, when we thought we were keeping the virus under control and, despite our efforts, the increase in cases was very rapid,” notes Virginie Massery. is. The head of infection control at FOPH also recommends taking advantage of the heat to rest and recover. And above all, getting vaccinated, so that the path of the virus can be blocked before possible return.
Will the summer of 2021 mark the end of COVID-19 in Switzerland? Or will we just take a break? Experts are divided. For some, it’s not impossible that SARS-Cov-2 will permanently settle on the planet as the season goes on, like the flu.
Christoph Unger, Mark Renfer, Feriel Mesterik