COVID variants could re-infect people every few years: expert

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COVID variants could re-infect people every few years: expert


Different strains of the coronavirus will likely re-infect people every few years, according to a British medical expert.

According to a recent report, Paul Hunter, professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia, predicted that more variants of the virus could emerge even as the pandemic comes to an end.

The World Health Organization has identified three variants of the coronavirus, including strains from South Africa and Brazil, which experts say may be resistant to vaccines.

Hunter said it was “difficult to predict” how COVID would mutate, adding that new strains might not lead to serious illness.

Yet in an interview with BBC Radio 4, he urged governments to be vigilant when economies reopen.

“We know that new variants are developing, it’s very obvious, and some new variants are spreading and becoming dominant,” he said. “Many new variants are disappearing. … Ultimately, with other human coronaviruses, we expect to be re-infected on average every two to four years with the same virus.

The World Health Organization has identified three variants of COVID that experts believe may be resistant to vaccines.
The World Health Organization has identified three variants of COVID that experts believe may be resistant to vaccines.
Angus Mordant / Bloomberg via Getty Images

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