Corona crisis worse next winter?

Corona crisis worse next winter?

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Many corona viruses are highly seasonal, what does this mean for us?

Are we facing the worst in the corona pandemic? Of the seven coronaviruses that regularly infect humans, four cause common respiratory infections that are highly seasonal and appear to be transmitted like flu. What about the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus? Do we now have to expect that significantly more people will get COVID-19 in the coming autumn or winter?

A recent study by the University of Michigan School of Public Health attempted to determine whether the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus could have seasonally worse effects. The results of the study were published in the English-language journal "Journal of Infectious Diseases".

Will SARS-CoV-2 occur even more seasonally?

Although seasonal coronaviruses are related to SARS-CoV-2, it is not known whether this virus behaves exactly like seasonal coronaviruses. Time will tell if SARS-CoV-2 is even more seasonal.

Dangers of different corona viruses

Corona viruses have long been known to cause human respiratory diseases. Human corona viruses have been detected in the past for mild respiratory diseases. However, if animal corona viruses spread to humans, they can cause serious illnesses.

Has SARS-CoV-2 been transmitted from animals to humans?

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2002 and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in 2012 both occurred when an animal coronavirus was transmitted to humans. The researchers believe that the COVID-19 pandemic started in the same way.

Another recent study has already shown that the coronavirus developed through natural evolution and selection - most likely in bats. For more information, read the article: Coronavirus conspiracy refuted: SARS-CoV-2 was not created in the laboratory.

Four typical corona viruses were examined

In 2010, the study began by examining the presence of four typically mild human coronaviruses (OC43, 229E, HKU1 and NL63). The researchers examined the frequency, seasonality, and transmission characteristics of the 993 household infections caused by these corona viruses.

The data from the so-called Household Influenza Vaccine Evaluation Study were evaluated for the study. This is an ongoing investigation of respiratory diseases in households with children. Between 890 and 1,441 people from several hundred households have participated in the study in the past ten years. The ongoing investigation is now tracking the occurrence of SARS-CoV-2 and the potential occurrence in households in Michigan.

Cases of corona peaked in January and February

They found that a total of nine percent of cases in adults and 20 percent of cases in children were associated with visits to the doctor. On average, 30 percent of influenza cases require a doctor's visit. With year-round surveillance, most coronavirus cases were detected between December and April / May. These cases peaked in January / February. Only 2.5 percent of the cases occurred between June and September.

Children and the elderly were more often ill

The highest frequency of infection was found in children under five years of age. Of the 993 infections, 260 were acquired through an infected household contact. The serial interval between the index and household-acquired cases ranged from 3.2 to 3.6 days. Depending on the type, the secondary risk of infection ranged from 7.2 percent to 12.6 percent. Cases in children under the age of five and adults over the age of 50 were classified as severe.

The behavior of SARS-CoV-2 is difficult to assess

The corona viruses examined in Michigan (which did not include SARS-CoV-2) were highly seasonal. Due to the series interval and the secondary infection risk, they seemed to have a similar transmission potential as the influenza A virus (H3N2) in the study population. Nevertheless, the results of the analysis are not an indication of how SARS-CoV-2 will behave, the researchers report. We can only hope that we will be spared a climax of the current corona pandemic in the coming winter. (as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Arnold S Monto, Peter DeJonge, Amy P Callear, Latifa A Bazzi, Skylar Capriola et al .: Coronavirus occurrence and transmission over 8 years in the HIVE cohort of households in Michigan, in Journal of Infectious Disease (Published April 4, 2020), Journal of Infectious Disease

Video: Pandemic Expert Predicts Second, Even Worse Wave Of Coronavirus Infections Next Winter (December 2022).