The Fear of Coronavirus and Flu Colliding in the Fall

May the US face two epidemics on the similar time subsequent fall, flu and the coronavirus?

That horrifying concept was raised by Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, throughout an interview on Tuesday with The Washington Put up. He prompt {that a} new surge in coronavirus instances may coincide with the following flu season, inflicting an much more tough disaster than the one the nation is dealing with now.

“We’re going to have the flu epidemic and the coronavirus epidemic on the similar time,” he stated.

At Wednesday’s White Home briefing, President Trump stated that Dr. Redfield had been misquoted and would make clear his remarks. However Dr. Redfield then stated that The Put up had quoted him accurately. However he tried to dial again the alarm his feedback had provoked.

“I believe it’s actually essential to emphasise what I didn’t say,” Dr. Redfield stated on the briefing. “I didn’t say this was going to be worse, I stated it was going to be tougher and doubtlessly difficult.”

He reiterated a number of instances that if the state of affairs grew to become tougher, that didn’t imply it grew to become worse.

He added: “The important thing to my feedback and the rationale I actually wished to emphasize them was to attraction to the American public to embrace the flu vaccine with confidence. One of many best instruments we’ve got as we undergo the fall-winter season is to get the American public to embrace the influenza vaccine and thereby reduce the influence of flu to be the opposite respiratory illness we confront.”

Mr. Trump stated, “We might not even have corona coming again.” He continued: “If it comes again, it received’t be coming again within the type that it was, it will likely be coming again in smaller doses that we are able to comprise. What the physician was saying, and I spoke to him at nice size, he was saying if it ought to come again, you have got the flu and the embers of corona, however in my view from all the things I’ve seen, it might probably by no means be like something like we witnessed proper now. It’s nothing like — what we’ve simply gone by, we is not going to undergo.”

Epidemiologists and infectious illness consultants interviewed earlier than the Wednesday briefing doubted that the virus would go away, and didn’t rule out the prospect of a worse disaster within the fall if the 2 illnesses strike on the similar time.

“When flu season comes, there’s the likelihood that we’ll be coping with two respiratory viruses on the similar time — flu and Covid,” Dr. Thomas Frieden, the previous head of the C.D.C. and the president of Resolve to Save Lives, a nonprofit targeted on illness prevention, stated in an electronic mail. “This might be a double problem for our well being care methods.”

Even when social distancing and different mitigation measures achieve “flattening the curve,” as soon as these strictures are loosened, instances may surge once more, Dr. Frieden stated.

“The tip recreation with this virus is, it’s going to attempt to infect as many people as potential,” Dr. Michael Osterholm, the director of the Heart for Infectious Illness Analysis and Coverage on the College of Minnesota, stated in an interview. “With the transmission traits we’ve seen, it is a virus that’s going to require at the least 60 to 70 % of inhabitants to be immune, from being contaminated or by vaccination, for substantial discount of transmission.”

He added, “We now have a protracted methods to go but.”

Dr. Frieden’s evaluation was related: “Covid-19 is prone to proceed to flow into till there’s a vaccine. Meaning we have to be able to reimpose distancing if instances threaten to overwhelm well being and public well being methods.”

Most consultants agree {that a} vaccine is at the least a yr or extra away, at greatest.

The C.D.C. didn’t reply to requests for extra data in time for publication.

Dr. Osterholm stated there was a extensively held false impression that if new instances begin to diminish, individuals can return to work, the downswing will proceed, the illness will go away and life will return to regular.

“We don’t know what it’s going to do,” he stated. “Like gravity, it’s going to maintain making an attempt to tug us down.”

There is no such thing as a proof that the warming temperatures of spring and summer season will do away with the illness, a scientific panel informed the White Home this month, noting that the virus was spreading quickly in nations with scorching climate, together with Australia and Iran. Some laboratory research have discovered that prime temperature and humidity may decrease the power of the virus to outlive, however the research weren’t conclusive, according to the report, which got here from the Nationwide Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Drugs, impartial businesses that advise the federal government and the general public.

“Typically, there are respiratory viruses, together with flu and a few frequent chilly coronaviruses, which can be seasonal,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the Nationwide Institute of Allergy and Infectious Illnesses, stated in an interview on Tuesday, earlier than Dr. Redfield’s feedback have been printed. “They do a lot better in winter and appear to taper off in summer season. We have no idea in any respect whether or not that shall be an element with this virus. There are indications it might not be the case.”

He added: “With heat climate, like in Singapore, they’re having outbreaks when it’s heat. It’s conceivable that on the idea of mitigation alone as we occur coincidentally to get into Might, June, July, and it goes down, individuals might imagine it’s climate, nevertheless it’s the mitigation.”

Dr. Fauci described the power of the virus to unfold as “beautiful.” Each within the interview and within the briefing on Wednesday, he stated that the nation would nonetheless be coping with the coronavirus within the fall. He stated he anticipated a resurgence then.

“It might be mini or it might be an enormous blast,” he stated within the interview. “We higher be ready with an actual clear sufficient quantity of assessments and all of the hospital stuff you want should you get an outbreak.”

Dr. Frieden stated it was potential that the steps taken to cease transmission of the coronavirus would additionally restrict unfold of the flu, however he stated it was manner too early to foretell what the following flu season could be like or to say for positive whether or not there could be overlapping epidemics.

“The one factor predictable about flu, as Dr. Anne Schuchat of C.D.C. taught me, is that it’s unpredictable,” Dr. Frieden stated.

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