OSU researchers suggest COVID may be nearing endemic level


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The omicron variant is spreading quickly regardless of vaccination status, but researchers say they hope omicron is a light at the end of the tunnel for this pandemic.

Chief medical adviser to the president, Dr. Anthony Fauci recently said “just about everyone” will get infected with the omicron variant, because it’s highly transmissible.

Now, researchers at Oregon State University are saying that could very well be the key to making COVID-19 endemic. That means the infection is maintained at a baseline level.

Experts say our current crop of flu and cold viruses are considered endemic.

Doctor Chunuei Chi is a professor for global health at OSU. He says that other researchers might argue that more time needs to pass before we find out when COVID will hit that baseline — but he thinks that the omicron variant is going to be the wave that gets us there.  

Dr. Chi and other scientists say breakthrough cases are having an impact. However, he said there is a silver lining.

“If this is true to be confirmed, omicron might be the virus to help us end this pandemic to turn it endemic or so called flu-like, but again we still need more evidence,” said Dr. Chi.

He said the shortage in tests isn’t helping anything either. Regardless, if you do get sick, make sure to self-isolate and follow all local guidance from health officials.

He said experts should know more in a month or so.



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