Although no one yet knows what the future holds for COVID-19, most experts seem to agree that it isn’t going away anytime soon. Indeed, a new report estimates that the pandemic will likely last about two years.

The report, from researchers at the University of Minnesota, draws on information from eight previous flu pandemics going back to the 1700s, and incorporates data from the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The authors note that the new coronavirus, called SARS-CoV-2, is not a type of influenza, but it shares some similarities with pandemic flu viruses — both are respiratory viruses to which the population has little to no previous immunity, and both can spread when people don’t have symptoms. Still, the virus causing COVID-19 appears to spread more easily

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