OSU researchers suggest COVID may be approaching endemic level

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The omicron variant is spreading rapidly regardless of vaccine status, but researchers say they hope omicron is a light at the end of the tunnel for this pandemic.

The president’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, recently said that “almost everyone” will be infected with the omicron variant because it is highly transmissible.

Now researchers at Oregon State University say this could very well be the key to making COVID-19 rampant. This means that the infection is kept at a basic level.

Experts say our current crop of flu and cold viruses is considered endemic.

Dr. Chunuei Chi is a professor of global health at OSU. He says other researchers might argue that it takes longer to know when COVID will hit that baseline — but he thinks the omicron variant will be the wave that gets us there.

Dr. Chi and other scientists say breakthrough cases have an impact. However, he said there was a silver lining.

“If this is true to be confirmed, omicron could be the virus to help us end this pandemic to make it endemic or so-called flu-like, but again, we still need more evidence,” said Dr. Chi.

He said the shortage of tests was not helping either. Either way, if you do get sick, be sure to self-isolate and follow all local health authority guidelines.

He said experts should know more in about a month.

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