In this update published on 3 July, the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases warns the public that COVID-19 is likely to remain a year-round threat1. This new official advice is at odds with the recommendations of some vocal scientists, who, without evidence, still push the line that COVID-19 will simply attenuate or weaken over time to join the many causes of the common cold2, only really affects the vulnerable3, or that it will become a winter bug4.

The CDC’s new position is a welcome recognition of reality and an acknowledgement that those who expected SARS-CoV-2 to settle into a winter virus pattern were wrong. The advice to adopt multi-layered protection is perhaps a tacit admission that COVID-19 is taking more of a toll on public health than many people expected.

In a study recently published in Science, Peluso et al. provide compelling evidence for two potential contributors to Long Covid: persistent SARS-CoV-2 and aberrant T cell activation, both of which can be found for up to two years after acute infection5.

A recent review published in Medical Review sets out the spectrum of disease pathology with COVID-19 and Long Covid6 and gives some clues about why we’re seeing an increase in long-term sickness7 and in work disability8 around the world.

Our recommendation remains the same, take whatever steps you can to protect you and yours from COVID-19. You can find our advice here, or download the US Center for Disease Control’s easy to follow graphic on multi-layered protection.