March 30, 2020 / Rachel Sandler, Forbes Staff
Topline: Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said at a White House press briefing Monday he anticipates the coronavirus will come back in another wave later this year—but added the U.S. will be much better prepared to deal with another outbreak, if it happens, in the fall.
- Medical experts have been warning the coronavirus could be cyclical, meaning it could come back in the fall even if its spread is halted in the next few months.
- Fauci said he “anticipates” such an event happening in the U.S. “because of the degree of transmissibility” and the fact that countries in the Southern Hemisphere are seeing more cases as they transition into their winter season.
- He added an outbreak in the fall would be a “totally different ballgame” because the country’s increased ability to test, identify and isolate those who are infected will be “orders of magnitude better than what it was just a couple of months ago.”
- Clinical trials are also underway for a number of treatments and Fauci hopes one or more of them will be available
- Fauci also raised the possibility of a vaccine being available next season under an emergency use “if we start seeing an efficacy signal” in any one of the multiple candidate vaccines.
- Other medical experts have warned that if there is a dip in cases during the summer months, the U.S. needs to stock up on ventilators and other supplies to handle another wave.