The University of Minnesota has proposed three scenarios for the development of a pandemic.
If the COVID-19 epidemic follows the pattern of the 1918 Spanish flu, it is likely to last up to two years and return this fall or winter, with the second wave being worse than the first.
Researchers from the University of Minnesota came to these conclusions.
“States, territories and tribal health authorities should develop plans for the worst-case scenario, including the lack of a vaccine and collective immunity,” the authors of the report from the University’s center for infectious disease research and policy warn.
“People should be prepared for possible periodic returns of the disease,” the authors believe.
The report outlines three scenarios, with the worst-case scenario suggesting a repeat of a significant outbreak before the end of the year.
The second suggests that this year’s outbreak will be followed by several smaller waves that will continue into 2021.
The third scenario, which has not been observed in previous pandemics, will be characterized by a “slow burn-out” of virus transmission without a transparent model.
“The virus has taken the world community by surprise, and the further development of the epidemic is still highly unpredictable,” the report says.
The authors emphasize that the COVID-19 vaccine is unlikely to appear before 2021.