In the news
Taking a closer look at falling COVID-19 cases
March 2, 2021
The number of new COVID-19 cases worldwide has dropped significantly over the past several months. In a story published on Feb. 17, The Globe and Mail examined the factors contributing to that trend.
Matthew Binnicker, Ph.D., director of the Clinical Virology Laboratory at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, was among the experts the publication consulted. He observed that one of the driving forces behind the fall in case numbers may be the seasonal nature of coronaviruses.
“We knew that this winter was going to be extremely difficult, because [SARS-CoV-2] is a respiratory virus, like flu, like other coronaviruses,” Dr. Binnicker says, noting that, in the Northern Hemisphere, cases of influenza usually rise in December, peak in January, and drop again by mid-February. “And that’s really what we’ve seen with COVID."
Other factors that could be at play include public-safety measures, such as masking and social distancing, aimed at reducing the spread of the infection, as well as increasing immunity due to previous COVID-19 infection and rising rates of vaccination.