DENVER (CBS4) – Governor Jared Polis says he is often asked if the COVID-19 virus will ever be eradicated in Colorado. Many experts believe the virus will last a long time but are unwilling to say that it is endemic.
“I think we are nowhere near where we can start calling this endemic,” said Dr. Lisa Miller, professor of epidemiology at the Colorado School of Public Health. “We still see huge peaks all over the world and our state is a good example of that.”
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Miller was the state’s chief epidemiologist for decades. She says she remembers conferences where researchers warned of coronavirus pandemics. She says there are still too many infections and not enough answers to determine whether the virus will be more like smallpox and almost eradicated, or an annual problem like the flu.
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“You might think two years is a long time, but it’s not a long time in the life of a virus. So it’s early. And there is still a lot that we don’t understand. There is still a lot of unpredictability with this virus, ”said Dr. Miller.
There could still be increased vaccination rates and new treatments that could drastically limit the ability of COVID-19 to spread. But the possibility of it becoming endemic is still there.
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“The more reasonable scientific story is that this virus will exist for a long time in some form, but we cannot say exactly what that looks like,” said Dr. Miller. “This virus is the enemy and we need to think about what we can do to fight this virus. We will add more tools to our toolbox. We’ll have more treatments; we will have better treatments. “