Infectious DiseaseQ and A

Questions About Waves Of COVID-19

from article from hopkinsmedicine.org

After continuous decree from the government to keep indoors, many of you might wonder if there is a second wave of COVID-19 coming. Based on the questions they are getting, a website from Johns Hopkins have provided a response for the questions. I have listed three of the interesting questions and Johns Hopkins’s responses of it.

Is the first wave of coronavirus over?

No, we’re still in the first wave. In some sense, the spread of the coronavirus so far has been more like a patchwork quilt than a wave. The COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. is affecting different areas throughout the country in different ways at different times.

Some cities and towns experienced severe outbreaks and appear to be recovering, other places have not had many cases, and some states are only now experiencing a rise in COVID-19. It’s also clear that places where people live or work closely together (nursing homes, multigenerational households, prisons and businesses such as meat packing plants) have tended to see more spread of the coronavirus.

Although some areas are reporting declining numbers of infections and deaths, localized outbreaks at nursing homes and “superspreader” events — in which one infected person transmits the virus to many others at a gathering — continue to occur.

 

Is warm weather helping to lessen COVID-19’s impact?

In the beginning of the pandemic, some experts wondered if warmer weather would slow down the spread of the coronavirus. Some respiratory illnesses, like colds and influenza (flu), are more common in the colder months, so researchers are trying to find out if this is true of COVID-19.

In one study, warm weather reduced coronavirus spread by 20%. Even if that trend is accurate across the country, the pandemic might slow down but it would be unlikely to end. So far, we have not seen evidence that SARS-CoV-2 transmission is slowed by warm weather.

 

Why are experts concerned about a second wave of coronavirus?

A second surge could happen before fall, with human behavior playing a major part. People are frustrated. Cellphone data are showing decreased social distancing. It takes weeks for the number of COVID-19 cases to change after a major behavior shift, so in June, we’re seeing a reflection now of what was going on in early April. Since then, we’ve had better weather, Passover, Easter, Mother’s Day and Memorial Day. By the end of this summer, we’re going to see the results of behavior changes that took place over those events and that period of time.

When predicting the future of the COVID-19 pandemic, experts look to other pandemics and the behavior of other viruses. Examples include the 1918 flu pandemic and the 2009 H1N1 flu epidemic. Both of these events began with a mild wave of infections in the spring, followed by another surge of cases in the fall.

Around the world, according to the World Health Organization, a resurgence of COVID-19 is a threat. Areas that were hit hard by the coronavirus in the winter, such as China, Italy and Iran, are still on guard for outbreaks. Some countries have already relaxed closures and distancing measures, even though new infections are still occurring. Even countries with strict lock-down policies over the winter, such as China, are seeing new cases.

For the entire set of questions and responses go to https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/first-and-second-waves-of-coronavirus

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