Will COVID-19 eventually become like the seasonal flu?

April 20, 2021

Like influenza, SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is constantly mutating. Yet, the two viruses are very different. Influenza mutates rapidly, which is why vaccines need to be updated almost every year and why you need to get vaccinated every fall. In contrast, research suggests that SARS-CoV-2 mutates more slowly.

So, what does this mean?

As part of the “COVID-19 Vaccines: Asked & Answered” video series, Troy Sutton, assistant professor of veterinary and biomedical sciences, explains that because variants continue to emerge, we anticipate that SARS-CoV-2 will continue to circulate in humans for several years, causing regular outbreaks. 

Last Updated August 11, 2021