Only a few „superspreaders“ Virologist Drosten: Germany could escape second corona wave

Hamburg · Virologist Christian Drosten believes that Germany could be spared a second corona wave. "Maybe we can avoid a second shutdown," the virologist said in an interview.

 Virologist Christian Drosten believes it is theoretically possible that there might not be a second shutdown.

Virologist Christian Drosten believes it is theoretically possible that there might not be a second shutdown.

Foto: dpa/Christophe Gateau

Science now has a better understanding of the infection process, the head of the Institute for Virology at the Berlin University Hospital Charité told the news magazine "Spiegel" according to a report on Friday.

"Now we know more about the virus, and we know better how it spreads." This happens via some so-called superspreaders, i.e. infected persons who are responsible for many infections. "And such an occurrence of infection can be better controlled than a uniform spread under the radar, as we assumed at the beginning," said Drosten. There was now a "theoretical possibility" that the Germans "could get through without a second wave“.

He added that it was still important to detect and stop a possible outbreak early on by quarantining all contacts without first carrying out lengthy tests. However, the quarantine period could be shortened considerably. In future, contact persons would only have to spend a good week in isolation because the incubation period and the time during which a person is contagious is considerably shorter than initially thought, Drosten emphasised.

Bonn virologist Hendrik Streeck also does not believe that Germany will be hit by a massive second corona wave. He spoke in an interview with the General-Anzeiger.

In principle, Streeck sees good chances to keep the virus under control. He sees, above all, the ban on large events as a decisive key to containment. "Stopping them seems to have been most effective", the director of the Institute for Virology at the University Hospital in Bonn told the newspapers of the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND) on Friday.

The main weapon against the coronavirus is a vaccine, which is being searched for worldwide at full speed. Some candidates are in the first clinical tests, but a vaccine is not expected to be available to the public this year.

Streeck doubts that the search for a vaccine will be successful soon. "More than 500 vaccines against HIV have already been constructed, but none has worked," he said. One must also be prepared for the possibility that no vaccine can be found. "The virus is here and will stay. And we have to be prepared to deal with it," Streeck said.

(Original text: AFP / Translation: Mareike Graepel)

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