The US is poised for a third wave of COVID-19 infection as it moves into the winter months. The country is only a week away from a “rapid acceleration” in COVID-19 cases, former Commissioner of Food and Drug Administration Dr. Scott Gottlieb said on CNBC on Monday (CN. 19).
Coronavirus cases in the US have increased by 36% in the past two weeks, with an average of 60,160 new cases compared to the previous week. According to New York Times analysis. Coronovirus cases are being counted in 45 states and hospitalizations are increasing in 42. “We are facing a difficult situation right now,” he said. “It’s going to be a difficult fall and winter.”
New waves of viruses have taken hold elsewhere. In Europe, COVID-19 cases are increasing rapidly, and governments have once again resorted to lockdowns – some of these lockdowns are as strict as those imposed in the spring. Ireland will implement a six-week long nationwide shutdown starting tomorrow. According to npr. According to CNN, on Friday, Wales will implement a “firebreak” lockdown, requiring everyone to stay home for two weeks.
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The US is about two or three weeks behind Europe in terms of growth, Gottlieb said. “So we are starting to enter a period of about a week where we are going to see a rapid acceleration of cases and I think November and December are going to be tough months.” Especially as the holidays approach, and people want to gather indoors to see their families, “we can’t disappoint our guards,” he said.
Public health experts have been saying almost since the onset of the epidemic that COVID-19 cases may worsen in the fall and winter months. One reason experts are concerned is that as the weather cools, people will gather inside in close quarters, causing the virus to easily spread from person to person, According to nbc 12. And dryer air, which is normal during the winter months, may allow the virus to stay in the air longer, Live science first told. Of course, the winter months threaten to provide a double-whammy with the onset of the flu season, According to another live science report.
The US has now reported more than 8.2 million cases of COVID-19 and more than 221,400 deaths, According to Johns Hopkins Dashboard. “With the possibility of potential coronovirus vaccines rising on the horizon,” Gottlieb said, “we can see the happiest days. “But these are going to be some difficult months for us.”
Originally published on Live science.