COVID-19 likely to become endemic with unfolding evolution; warns WHO
The COVID-19 pandemic is growing into an endemic disease and it is still in the process of evolution, said an official of the World Health Organization (WHO) at a press briefing on Wednesday.
“This virus is on its way to becoming endemic, there’s no question about that. But we are very much right now in the middle of this pandemic at transmission levels that we see right now, at the intensity of spread that we see, at the level of impact that these cases are having on our essential medical services, on essential services, on hospitalization rates, which are increasing in a number of countries. And now, certainly we see less rates of hospitalization, but the sheer volume of cases is really putting a heavy burden on our healthcare systems. So, the impact that we are seeing is really quite substantial,” Maria Van Kerkhove, technical lead of the WHO Health Emergency Program, said during the conference held in Geneva of Switzerland, the health group’s headquarters.
In addition, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO, also shed light on the treatment of pregnant women, saying that though expectant mothers are not at higher risk of contracting COVID-19, they are at higher risk for severe disease if they are contracted.
Fortunately, mother-to-fetus transmission in utero or during birth is very rare, and no active virus has been identified in breast milk, according to the WHO.
Furthermore, the organization also calls for pregnant women to be included in clinical trials for new treatments and vaccines.