Published On: Mon, May 4th, 2020

Second wave of coronavirus is “very likely,” doctor warns

As states begin to reopen and social distancing rules are relaxed, public health officials are warning about a possible second wave of coronavirus cases later this year. Dr. Shoshana Ungerleider, an internal medicine physician at Sutter Health in San Francisco, said Monday on CBSN that public health officials agree another round of cases is “very, very likely to happen.” 

Ungerleider said a potential second wave coinciding with flu season could cause a lot of confusion due to the overlap in symptoms between the viruses. “This may put a heavy strain on an already taxed healthcare system, so I think we need to be preparing for this now,” Ungerleider said. 

The lag time between infection and symptoms could also cause an increase in cases in the U.S. as social distancing rules are relaxed. “City and state officials, as well as the public, need to prepare and to understand that places may need to quickly reissue stay-at-home orders if in fact these local outbreaks start occurring,” Ungerleider said. “We need to continue focusing on expanding testing and contact tracing.”

Ungerleider said that since the novel coronavirus is only 16 weeks old, there’s a lot we don’t know yet. “People need to be aware that this virus has not gone away and people need to remain vigilant,” she said.

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