CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) — As the U.S. is heading into its fourth year of the coronavirus pandemic, and cases and deaths are increasing again, many physicians and public health experts are hopeful that 2023 will be a better year than the previous ones.

According to the World Health Organization Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the possibility of COVID may no longer be a global health emergency sometime in the coming year.

Here’s what infectious disease experts are keeping a close eye on in 2023.

New Coronavirus Variants

As long as the coronavirus continues to circulate, there will always be new versions of the virus. What’s unknown is how these future variants will impact the course of the pandemic.

If omicron and its descendants continue to increase and bolster on, it is possible that COVID-19 becomes a more predictable seasonal illness, similar to the flu and other viruses that cause cold-like symptoms.

COVID-19 Treatments

When it comes to the effectiveness of antiviral treatments, they have been effective so far. But there is always a risk that there could be a development of resistance towards these treatments.

The prediction will be less on development of new monoclonal antibodies and more on antiviral therapies and anti-inflammatory therapies.

Making Progress on Long COVID

More studies are in progress to better understand long COVID and its causes and how it can be treated. Evidence suggests that vaccinated individuals have a lower risk for developing long COVID.

A New Generation of COVID Vaccines

A new generation of vaccines is needed for more extra protection against both severe illness and infection across a wide range of different and harmful variants. It is not certain if these new vaccines will occur in 2023, but they could be making their way in soon.

Combatting COVID Fatigue

According to UC Davis Health’s Blumberg, he blames COVID fatigue for the less-than-ideal uptake and says that we need to keep “an eye on is the level of COVID fatigue that’s out there” as we enter our fourth pandemic year. I would encourage people to pay attention and to realize that COVID is still a danger,” he says.

Health officials are recommending that Americans stay up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines, mask up in crowded indoor settings, and avoid poorly ventilated spaces.

For more information, visit .