But it definitely can take an epidemic

GoodTaste

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In the United States, Rt is currently hovering at around one — any higher and the outbreak should grow, any lower and it should shrink. According to Kilpatrick and Gardner’s calculations5, boosters should therefore help to move case numbers downwards, thus buttressing against any upward pressure from Omicron.

“It’s not going to stop a raging epidemic,” Kilpatrick says. “But it definitely can take an epidemic that's growing at a very uncomfortable rate for lots of people, and make that into either a shrinking epidemic or a much, much less bad one.”

Source: Nature

Does "take" here mean "challenge" (or simply "endure")? I've checked it out in my dictionary and the 48 definitions there to me don't exactly fit in.
 

teechar

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No. It roughly means "take hold of" or "affect".
 

5jj

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But it definitely can take an epidemic that's growing at a very uncomfortable rate for lots of people, and make that into either a shrinking epidemic or a much, much less bad one.”
It can take an epidemic that's growing and make/turn it into a shrinking epidemic.
 

jutfrank

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There's a common form of expression used here. I'm not sure how I'd represent it. Perhaps like this:

take something and do something with it

The whole expression means something loosely like 'have an effect on' or 'change' in some way.
 
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