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Will coronavirus really evolve to become less deadly?

By Ed Feil, Professor of Microbial Evolution at The Milner Centre for Evolution, University of Bath
Christian Yates, Senior Lecturer in Mathematical Biology, University of Bath
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A recent modelling study painted a reassuring picture of a post-pandemic future in which SARS-CoV-2 transitions, over “a few years to a few decades”, from dangerous pathogen to just another common-cold coronavirus. This predicted loss of virulence, the authors stress, is based on a specific idiosyncrasy of the virus, namely that it rarely causes serious disease in children.

Still, many experts agreed that we should not be in the least surprised by the authors’ conclusion, as


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