Scientists say COVID-19 will be endemic in Cuba; a fresh outbreak of the disease is expected in November
May 29, 2020
by OnCuba Staff
Mathematical models developed by a group of Cuban scientists predict that COVID-19 could become endemic on the island as of May 30, while Havana, epicenter of the epidemic in Cuba, will continue to report active cases until July 10.
If the COVID-19 becomes endemic in Cuba, the first fresh outbreak of the disease should occur in mid-November, the dean of the Faculty of Mathematics at the University of Havana, Raúl Guinovart, told Cubadebate this Wednesday.
“The graph shows us that at the beginning of the disease the curve grew between susceptible and sick persons; then the number of infected people decreases to almost zero, as happens now when we are managing to control the disease; but then there will be a fresh outbreak with a more discreet peak because there remains a very large susceptible population,” the professor explained.
“Later the curve decreases again and then it would continue to infinity, unless current conditions change (everyone gets a vaccine or a vaccine emerges). The ideal in this graph is to have this point closer to zero in order to have fewer patients, the fresh outbreaks immunize more people but many others die,” he added.
The expert revealed that a simulation predicts that 70% of the population will be susceptible to becoming infected over time, while 0.4% will contract the disease, similar to what occurs in various endemic diseases, such as influenza.
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Meanwhile, the vice president of the Cuban Society of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Pedro Más, warned that although during the fresh outbreaks or waves of the disease on the island the figures will be lower than those registered so far, this phenomenon should not be underestimated.
According to Más, it is estimated that the first fresh COVID-19 outbreak in Cuba will affect some 285 active cases, which is why resources must be prepared for that time.
According to specialists, Cuba will open its international borders at some point, and although the epidemic is now controlled, when more people start arriving―from the United States, for example, which has the largest community of Cubans abroad―, the health situation will be more complex.
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