COVID-19 pandemic could last 12-18 months according to Dr. Osterholm

The Morning News with Dave Lee
April 08, 2020 - 11:45 am

Dr. Michael Osterholm joined The Morning News with Dave Lee this morning and gave facts on just how long it will take to fight the coronavirus pandemic. 

"We're going to be in this for the next 12 to 18 months. This is what I worry about a lot at the national level, we aren't telling the public that and we need to tell them that. This is not a sprint, this is a marathon."

Dr. Osterholm says that countries like Singapore, China and South Korea did a good job of suppressing the virus, but it is starting to come back in all those areas. He also cited the flu pandemic of 1918 and that transmission lasted for over two years. He says that coronavirus is tracking similar to what that flu did. 

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What will become key is striking the balance of curbing the pandemic and continuing our economy, Dr. Osterholm continued. He says trying to maintain the current model over the next 18 months until a vaccine is created isn't possible. Research is continuing on how to balance the two between the medical experts and the Governors. He said an example is bringing young people who have been experiencing mild symptoms back in a more normal society way of life. 

"Bringing them back into society in a more normal way is exactly the kind of thing that will actually slow this virus transmission down eventually to those who are at the highest risk."

Expanding on that, Dr. Osterholm says that if 20%-30% of the population is infected and recovers, they will be immune to the virus and will be able to slow transmission down. 

RELATED:Have a story about someone helping your community #StayConnectedTogether? Nominate them here.

You can hear Dr. Osterholm on The Morning News with Dave Lee every Monday and Wednesday at 7:20. 

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