Coronavirus continues to spread across the globe, having already infected over 90,000 people and killed more than 3,100. So far the UK has reported 51 patients infected with the virus, also known as COVID-19, but the number is expected to continue to rise over the coming days and weeks. The spread of infection is beginning to come under control in China - the epicentre of the outbreak, but scientists have warned it could become a reoccurring virus much like the common cold and influenza, which return each winter.
It is feared the coronanvirus could become a perennial illness, something that returns each winter, that cannot be cured.
Professor John Oxford, a virologist from Queen Mary University of London, told The Telegraph: “If you look at other members of the coronavirus family, that are respiratory viruses and we’ve known about them for the last 50 years or more, they’re seasonal.
“They’re just like the common cold, there’s probably a few thousand people infected with them at the moment in England.
“Whether Covid-19 will fit into that pattern or not, we will just have to wait and see but my guess is it will.”
Coronavirus could become a seasonal infection (Image: EMPICS)
Boris Johnson warned it is 'highly likely' the UK will see further infection (Image: Getty)
The scientist predicted the number of cases of COVID-19 will soon “settle down”, due to the improved weather conditions with the change in season.
He said that if the virus were seasonal we will begin to see “the figures drop off”.
Dr Michael Skinner, Reader in Virology at Imperial College London, agreed that a “second wave” of the virus was likely.
He told the newspaper: “It could well slow down over the summer but I think most people anticipate that it’s likely that it will come back as a second wave.
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