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US to brace for the ‘perfect storm’ of infectious diseases

Virus expert warns the US to brace for the ‘perfect storm’ of infectious diseases this fall when COVID-19 cases combine with flu season

  • Virologist Dr Joseph Fair has warned coronavirus combined with flu season later this year will be the ‘perfect storm’ of infectious diseases 
  • His warning came after CDC director said a second wave of COVID-19 cases next winter could be even more difficult than the current pandemic in the US 
  • Dr Fair said increased testing, combined with social distancing measures, was how the US would beat the current pandemic
  • It follows news that two people died with the coronavirus in California weeks before the first reported death from the disease
  • Dr Fair said it is likely even earlier dates of community spread will be uncovered 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Coronavirus combined with flu season later this year will be the ‘perfect storm’ of infectious diseases, a virus expert has warned. 

Virologist Dr Joseph Fair’s warning came after the director of the CDC said a second wave of COVID-19 cases next winter could be even more difficult than the current pandemic in the US. 

‘Fall is typically when we have our worst flu season,’ Dr Fair told told NBC’s Today on Wednesday. 

‘If you couple that with an ongoing outbreak of COVID-19… it’s going make for the perfect storm of infectious disease and overloading of hospital wards.

‘The good news is hopefully we’ll have enough testing by then. It will give us time to catch up on ventilators and PPE production.’ 

Virologist Dr Joseph Fair’s warning came after the director of the CDC said a second wave of COVID-19 cases next winter could be even more difficult than the current pandemic in the US

Dr Fair said increased testing, combined with social distancing measures, was how the US would beat the current pandemic. 

‘Outbreaks really begin and end with diagnostics… that’s how we’re actually going to stop this outbreak, combined with the social distancing measures and ultimately, a vaccine,’ he said. 

Following news that two people died with the coronavirus in California weeks before the first reported death from the disease, Dr Fair said it is likely even earlier dates of community spread will be uncovered. 

‘That’s not uncommon for any outbreak. We’ll always look for the index case. We always go back and look for the one that didn’t make our radar screen,’ he said of the earlier COVID-19 deaths. 

‘Community spread was ongoing much earlier that we thought. I’m sure we’ll find even earlier dates.’

Health officials in Santa Clara County said on Tuesday that two people died at home on February 6 and February 17. 

The first confirmed US death from the virus was reported on February 29 in Kirkland, Washington. 

The Medical Examiner-Coroner, however, received confirmation on Tuesday that tissue samples sent to the CDC for the prior two deaths had tested positive for the virus. 

The death toll in the US now stands at more than 45,000 – the highest in the world – with more than 820,000 confirmed infections.

The true figures, however, are believed to be much higher, in part, because of limited testing and difficulties in counting the dead. 

All 50 states in the US have now reported deaths due to coronavirus after Wyoming announced its first fatality earlier this month.

Washington was the epicenter of the country’s initial outbreak.

It had recorded the first known coronavirus case in the US and also the first few deaths of the pandemic before it started spreading rapidly across the country. 

The state recorded its first known coronavirus case – and the first in the US – on January 21 after a patient returned from Wuhan, China where the global outbreak initially started.

The director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Robert Redfield, pictured, said Tuesday a second wave of coronavirus next winter could be 'even more difficult'

The director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Robert Redfield, pictured, said Tuesday a second wave of coronavirus next winter could be ‘even more difficult’

 



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