In a shocking forecast, the World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic may not be nearing its end as hoped by many, but rather is still very much a present reality. As new spikes of COVID-19 infections begin to reemerge around the world, a WHO spokesperson claims the pandemic is far from over.

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Why Is COVID Not Coming To An End?

These new cases are presumed to be largely due to recent holiday gatherings, with an observed upward trend in infection numbers, though they have not reached the staggering heights of 2020.

WHO's speculation is not merely based on increased infection rates. After performing extensive water testing, it predicts that the number of new infections is estimated to be between 2 to 19 times higher than what is being reported.

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There Is A Rise In Asymptomatic Cases

The WHO explains this alarming underreporting by theorizing that due to increased numbers of vaccinated individuals and those with natural immunity, there is a rise in asymptomatic COVID-19 cases. In stark contrast to the 2020-2021 phase when symptomatic patients often isolated themselves, these asymptomatic individuals continue to frequent community spaces unknowingly spreading the virus.

While it is natural to question the threat posed by these asymptomatic cases, the danger lies in their potential to infect those more vulnerable to serious illness. According to a New York Times report, a new variant of the virus, JN.1, is believed to be more lethal than its predecessors. Therefore, if an asymptomatic individual passes this strain onto a susceptible person, the results could be deadly.

What Is The Future Prediction?

Aside from immediate health threats, the WHO also warns of possible long-term impacts from repeated COVID-19 infections. The global health body raises concerns about possible heart and lung issues that might emerge in the coming 10, 15, or even 20 years as a result of these recurring infections. Additionally, the specter of an increase in long COVID cases looms.

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Answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

Keep reading to discover answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions.

Gallery Credit: Stephanie Parker

 

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