WASHINGTON (AP) — Will the coronavirus ever go away?

No one knows for sure. Scientists think the virus that causes COVID-19 may be with us for decades or longer, but that doesn’t mean it will keep posing the same threat.

The virus emerged in late 2019 and it’s difficult to predict how it will behave over the long term. But many experts believe it’s likely the disease will eventually ease from a crisis to a nuisance like the common cold.

That would happen as people build up immunity over time, either through infection or vaccination. Other viruses have followed a similar path.

The 1918 flu pandemic could also offer clues about the course of COVID-19.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that a third of the world’s population became infected with that virus, which originated in birds. Eventually, after infected people either died or developed immunity, the virus stopped spreading quickly. It later mutated into a less virulent form, which experts say continues to circulate seasonally.

More in category

Super League to amend plans for elite tournament after English teams say they won't participate
April 20, 2021CNN
Super League to amend plans for elite tournament after English teams say they won't participate
US may soon reach a tipping point on Covid-19 vaccine demand. Here's why that's concerning
April 20, 2021CNN
US may soon reach a tipping point on Covid-19 vaccine demand. Here's why that's concerning
Ohio officer shot and killed 15-year-old girl with knife, police say and bodycam video shows
April 20, 2021CNN
Ohio officer shot and killed 15-year-old girl with knife, police say and bodycam video shows
Editorial Roundup: Wisconsin
April 20, 2021AP News
Editorial Roundup: Wisconsin
Police reform legislation has
April 20, 2021CBS
Police reform legislation has "more momentum" after Chauvin verdict
1 dead, 2 wounded in shooting at New York grocery store
April 20, 2021CBS
1 dead, 2 wounded in shooting at New York grocery store
San Jose looks to reform police department
April 20, 2021KRON4
San Jose looks to reform police department
Columbus, Ohio, police release bodycam footage of officer fatally shooting 16-year-old Black girl; protesters gather
April 20, 2021USA Today
Columbus, Ohio, police release bodycam footage of officer fatally shooting 16-year-old Black girl; protesters gather
US Sikh community traumatized by yet another mass shooting
April 20, 2021AP News
US Sikh community traumatized by yet another mass shooting
Despite growing chorus, DOJ is limited in police probes
April 20, 2021AP News
Despite growing chorus, DOJ is limited in police probes
Biden to America after Floyd verdict: ‘We can’t stop here’
April 20, 2021AP News
Biden to America after Floyd verdict: ‘We can’t stop here’
Millions of people are now waiting to see if Derek Chauvin's conviction in George Floyd's killing will spur politicians to reform policing and eradicate systemic racism
April 20, 2021CNN
Millions of people are now waiting to see if Derek Chauvin's conviction in George Floyd's killing will spur politicians to reform policing and eradicate systemic racism
Community activists discuss what Chauvin verdict means for police accountability
April 20, 2021KRON4
Community activists discuss what Chauvin verdict means for police accountability
MLK's Niece Says Not Requiring Voter ID Tries to Erase Black Identities
April 20, 2021Newsweek
MLK's Niece Says Not Requiring Voter ID Tries to Erase Black Identities
Capitol Rioter Michael Timbrook Who Said He Had 'No Remorse' Arrested
April 20, 2021Newsweek
Capitol Rioter Michael Timbrook Who Said He Had 'No Remorse' Arrested
Report: Mideast countries top 2020 global executioners list
April 20, 2021AP News
Report: Mideast countries top 2020 global executioners list
PM Suga makes offerings at Yasukuni shrine but doesn’t visit
April 20, 2021AP News
PM Suga makes offerings at Yasukuni shrine but doesn’t visit
Jury’s swift verdict for Chauvin in Floyd death: Guilty
April 20, 2021AP News
Jury’s swift verdict for Chauvin in Floyd death: Guilty
Guilty verdicts in Floyd’s death bring joy -- and wariness
April 20, 2021AP News
Guilty verdicts in Floyd’s death bring joy -- and wariness
'It's a start': People in Minneapolis greet the Chauvin conviction with mixed emotions
April 20, 2021MSNBC
'It's a start': People in Minneapolis greet the Chauvin conviction with mixed emotions
The Nation Reacts as Derek Chauvin Is Convicted in the Murder of George Floyd: See the Photos
April 20, 2021People
The Nation Reacts as Derek Chauvin Is Convicted in the Murder of George Floyd: See the Photos