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How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed after two years? | Health and fitness

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VICTORIA MILKO – AP Scientific Writer

How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed after two years?

More and more countries are moving towards a return to normal life and are learning to live with the virus. Safe, effective vaccines have been developed, and there is a better understanding of how to treat people with the virus.

Two years after the start of the pandemic, questions remain about the coronavirus. But experts know much more about how to keep it under control.

The virus mainly spreads through the air when an infected person exhales, talks, coughs or sneezes. That’s why health officials are encouraging the use of masks and vents, instead of focusing on tips to wipe surfaces like they did in the beginning.

Treatment has also been developed for people who are ill or need to be hospitalized. Options include antivirals such as remdezivir, or newer pills from Pfizer and Merck; anti-inflammatory drugs, including steroids; and depending on which option is circulating, laboratory antibodies to attack the virus.

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“The world has watched us learn in real time how to treat COVID-19,” says Neil J. Seagal is an associate professor of health policy and management at the University of Maryland School of Public Health.

Vaccines against COVID-19 have also been developed in record time. As of early March, the World Health Organization had approved the use of 10 vaccines for emergency use.

However, the distribution of vaccines has been uneven, despite international efforts to make injections more equitable, and misinformation has caused fluctuations regarding vaccinations.

And much remains to be learned. Studies are underway to better understand prolonged COVID-19, which may persist for several months after initial infection. And scientists are looking for the next option to spread quickly.

“Eventually every country will have to learn to live with COVID,” Segal says.

The AP answers your questions about the coronavirus in this series. Send them to: FactCheck@AP.org. Read more here:

Why is the level of vaccination against COVID in some countries still low?

Does Omicron bring us closer to herd immunity against COVID?

Is it possible to get COVID for a long time after infection with omicron?

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed without permission.

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