A new report from the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) brings some grim news to light. The pandemic may last anywhere from 18 to 24 months.
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The CIDRAP report draws on the similarities and differences of incubation period, asymptomatic rates, and basic reproductive number (R0), between influenza viruses and the novel coronavirus (SARS-Cov-2) to inform a timeline for the COVID-19 pandemic. The report attributes the ease at which COVID-19 has spread to “a longer incubation period, more asymptomatic spread, and a higher R0 [than the influenza virus],” which, in turn, means that the pandemic will remain for a longer period than expected, before the population can develop herd immunity.