COVID-19 is known to cause life-threatening, and sometimes fatal, outcomes today. But in the future, contracting the virus may be akin to coming down with a common childhood cold.
Using data from other human coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-1, researchers from Emory University and Pennsylvania State University have determined that, eventually, COVID-19 will resemble other common childhood infections. They published their findings Tuesday in the journal Science.
“What we see with other coronaviruses is that people will get the virus for the first time as a child, and then they may get it again as an adult multiple times,” explained lead study author Jennie S. Lavine, a post-doc researcher at Emory. “But — and this is true for many infections — our first exposure is the most severe because we have no prior immunity to it.”