Coronavirus: US may have second, worse outbreak in winter, warns top health expert
"We're going to have the flu epidemic and the coronavirus epidemic at the same time," said CDC director Robert Redfield, predicting a dual assault on the US health care system this winter.
A senior US disease expert has warned that a second wave of coronavirus could emerge this winter in conjunction with the flu season to make for an even more dire health crisis. The current COVID-19 crisis in the US has claimed more than 45,000 lives and infected over 824,000 people.
“There’s a possibility that the assault of the virus on our nation next winter will actually be even more difficult than the one we just went through,” Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told the Washington Post. "And when I've said this to others, they kind of put their head back, they don't understand what I mean."
"We're going to have the flu epidemic and the coronavirus epidemic at the same time," Redfield said, predicting a dual assault on the health care system. Having two simultaneous respiratory outbreaks would put unimaginable strain on the health care system, he added.
The top health official’s warning comes as several US states prepared to reopen their economies. He urged the coming months to be used to prepare for what lies ahead and that social distancing must continue.
The White House has emphasised on continuing with preventive measures to fight the coronavirus and increased testing.
"We were very clear in the guidelines that we believe we can monitor, again, monitor communities at the community level by using the influenza-like illness and the syndromic respiratory and gastrointestinal temp components of this particular virus," Dr Deborah Brix, member of the White House Task Force on Coronavirus told reporters when asked about the second wave.
Responding to a question, Brix said that the situation could be pretty bad if the second wave of coronavirus hits the country in the winter.
"When you see what has happened in New York, that was very bad. I believe that we'll have early warning signals both from our surveillance that we been talking about in these on the vulnerable populations," she said.
"We're going to continue that surveillance from now all the way through the fall to be able to give us that early warning signal. I think what we've learned is how good Americans are about immediately reverting to all of those issues that they need to do in order to ensure that they are protected and their families," she added.