“We must anticipate the possibility of a second wave”

While the prospect of a second wave of Covid-19 worries Europe, France 24 is taking out the latest information on the pandemic with Antoine Flahault, epidemiologist, head of the Institute of Global Health at the University of Geneva.

Second wave, possibility of a double infection, vaccine … The Covid-19 pandemic continues to worry the planet by the end of summer 2020. France 24 stocks up with epidemiologist Antoine Flahault, the institute’s head of global health at the University of Geneva.

Should we worry about a second wave or put the increase in the cases detected in view of the number of tests performed?

We have never tested so many people. In France, almost 100,000 tests are performed every day. It is new. And what we see does not matter. Most cases are mild or asymptomatic. We carefully examine a possible passage to populated risks, especially the elderly. If this were to happen, it would lead to further hospitalizations and the situation would then become worrying.

Currently, in Europe, Spain is starting to worry because it is increasing hospital admissions. But overall, we are still reducing the epidemic that continued over the summer. However, viral circulation has never been completely stopped.

We have no parts for comparison because we did not carry out as many tests in January and February. No one can predict what will happen in a month with current mathematical models. One can only prepare for the possibility of a second wave.

In Hong Kong, a man is said to have tested positive four months after his first infection. What does this possible re-infection say about the virus’ virulence?

At the moment we only have the press release and not the scientific article itself. The fact that there is only one superinfection in 24 million documented cases of Covid-19 shows that it is something very rare, even exceptional.

>> Also read: Why the first case of re-infection with Covid-19 does not worry researchers

Re-infection is something that happens to all viruses. This can be caused by a decrease in the immune system. This is not unique in the history of infectious diseases. If it were common in the case of Covid-19, there would already be many more documented cases. I’m not particularly worried about this information.

If a vaccine is detected, will it then need to be vaccinated every year as for the flu?

There is no evidence today that Covid-19 will look like the flu and will mutate every season. The influenza virus is a virus that mutates enormously and its mutations reach the areas that generate the human body’s immunity. LeCovid-19 has so far had very little mutation and these mutations do not appear to have any major effect on transmission or infection, although there are ongoing expert discussions on the subject. It’s science.

See the full video interview above.