LONDON (AP) — The emergencies chief for the World Health Organization said that COVID-19 doesn’t seem to follow the seasonal patterns that some viruses exhibit, making it harder to control.
Unlike other respiratory viruses like influenza that spread mainly in the winter, the coronavirus pandemic is accelerating in the summer. That’s despite earlier predictions from some scientists and politicians it would fade in the heat.
“This virus has demonstrated no seasonal pattern as such,” said Dr. Michael Ryan at a press briefing on Monday. “What it has clearly demonstrated is that if you take the pressure off the virus, the virus bounces back,” he said. Ryan said the U.N. health agency continues to advise countries even where COVID-19 appears to be under control, such as those in Europe, to maintain measures to slow virus spread.
He called for countries where transmission remains intense, such as Brazil, to adopt measures so that communities have the necessary support they need to implement strategies like social distancing, wearing masks, and self-isolating if they have symptoms.