(WQOW)- As the race against the virus continues, some health officials believe the pandemic will eventually turn endemic, which is found just among certain populations.
Mayo Clinic doctors say that the likelihood of the virus being completely eliminated is low, especially as variants like the ones found in the UK and South Africa continue to emerge. Experts say because not everyone plans on being vaccinated or wearing masks, the virus may never truly go away even if the country reaches herd immunity, similar to the flu.
"It's not like we're going to develop herd immunity and eliminate this virus, I think that's the least of the possibilities," said Dr. Gregory Poland of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group. "Influenza takes lives, tens of thousands of lives every year in the U.S., but we've accepted that, and I think we can get to that kind of level with this virus."
In the near future, experts also believe another surge in COVID-19 cases could come soon if variants become the dominant strain of the virus in the U.S. as vaccines roll out slowly and people become fatigued from wearing masks and being tested. Doctors say the surge can simply be avoided if everyone continues to wear masks and be vaccinated.