Elimination of COVID-19: what would it look like and is it possible?30 Aug, 2020
In countries that have achieved a low incidence of COVID-19 infection, such as Australia and New Zealand, disease elimination has been proposed.
Yet we do not have a definition of elimination for COVID-19. Both these countries implemented early, widespread, and strict disease mitigation strategies. With low cumulative incidence, most of the population in these countries remain susceptible to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Before the availability of a vaccine, implementing exit strategies that ease social distancing restrictions will probably result in epidemics if a low level of community transmission remains or is imported through travel, as seen with the resurgence in the state of Victoria, Australia in July 2020. For other respiratory transmitted infections, such as measles, mumps, and smallpox, the prevaccine era saw recurrent epidemic cycles, and a similar pattern is projected for unmitigated SARS-CoV-2 transmission, depending on the duration of immunity.
Reduced case counts, flattened epidemic curves, and longer interepidemic periods are also dependent on achieving immunisation coverage and reduced transmission through implementation of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs).
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