Researchers study what the future of COVID-19 may look like

ATLANTA — Many of us are wondering how the virus that causes COVID-19 will impact us in the years to come.

Channel 2′s Carol Sbarge talked to an Emory University researcher who started studying the virus last summer.

Emory Epidemiology Researcher Jennie Lavine says they started by looking at what could they make as a best guess, based on everything they know about SARS and other coronaviruses.

Lavine says because this is a new virus, it’ll take more time to know exactly how it’ll impact us in the future. She says based on what’s happened with similar viruses, she expects COVID-19 to stick around and foresees reinfections. Lavine says the good news is those reinfections likely won’t be as severe.


“Evidence shows that reinfections are, on average, more mild, so the disease isn’t as severe and is also somewhat less transmissible,” Lavine said.

Lavine says vaccines and immunity from having the disease could very much lessen the severity of COVID-19, especially in older people over time. It’s still early for the disease, but she expects researchers to learn a lot over the next year.

“A year from now, we’ll have a better sense of what the long-term looks like,” Lavine said.