“Third Wave” of Coronavirus is Here According to Experts

Public health experts are raising alarm that the anticipated third wave of coronavirus is here, as infections are increasing every day. Data shows that there are no signs of new infections and hospitalizations stopping. It has sparked theories that the dreaded winter and fall wave that scientists have been worried about is already here.

Just in the last week, in United States, there have been on average 54,000 new cases of coronavirus reported every day. This is a 25 percent increase from the last week’s numbers. Though many have suggested that the increase is because of more widespread and robust testing, the surge can not be explained by increase in testing alone.

Nebraska, North Dakota, Kansas, Indiana are among nineteen states that are reporting record high numbers of coronavirus. Even the states that had some level of control over the pandemic such as Florida, New York, New Jersey, and Arizona are now reporting record high numbers.

According to Scott Gottlieb, the former Food and Drug Commissioner, this is the beginning of the fall surge that everyone has been talking about. He further explained that Europe which is seeing 100,000 new coronavirus infection every day, is just 2 or 3 weeks ahead of United States.

“I think we’re in for a difficult fall and winter,” Gottlieb said.

Other reports show a clear increase in number of hospitalizations due to coronavirus infections as well. The state of Wisconsin is even building a field hospital in its state park fairground to keep up with the numbers.

The number of deaths per day due to coronavirus right now is just at 700. However, the number of deaths always lag behind the number of hospitalizations which follow the number of infections. In simple words, US could see a surge in number of deaths in coming weeks.

There has been also reports of re-infections among many people in United States. This is especially worrying as doctors say that reinfections in people are more severe than the initial illness due to the virus.

However, there is a silver lining to it, explained Gottlieb. He suggests that this wave might cause “substantially less” deaths as there are now new therapies available along with techniques that have saved people’s lives.

This claim might not be valid as the only approved therapy for COVID-19 called Remdesivir, has recently proven to not influence mortality rates in people infected with the virus in a large study. In previous study on the other hand it had shown to the number of days of hospitalization by 4 days.

Till now there has been two surges in coronavirus cases according to the US government and health agencies.

The first surge hit the northeast in the spring, and the second hit the south over the summer. The maximum number of infections during the peak in a day were reported at 73,000 in July. This was followed by a steady drop and then an increase in numbers again in September. Experts fear that in this third wave of infections, US will surpass its highest case count reported till date.

Respiratory illnesses like common cold and flu are more likely to spread in the cold, dry climates. Scientists suggest that it will also be true for the novel coronavirus.

Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, explained while addressing a webinar at Johns Hopkins University, “You can’t enter into the cooler months of the fall and the cold months of the winter with a high community infection baseline”.

“We’re going to start doing a lot of things indoors, rather than outdoors, and that’s when you have to be particularly careful about the spread of a respiratory borne disease,” he added.

Right now, twenty-eight states are reporting “uncontrolled spread” of the virus, while eighteen states are “trending poorly” and only two states of Vermont and Maine are “trending better”. The two states are reporting decline in case numbers and incidence of positive tests results.

The number of tests coming positive in any area is the key indicator of the virus’ spread. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) test positivity rate of 5 percent or lower signals that the virus is well under-control.

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