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Home / Tips and Tricks / US coronavirus: Americans will have to “crouch” this fall and winter as the Covid-19 pandemic is likely to get worse, says Fauci

US coronavirus: Americans will have to “crouch” this fall and winter as the Covid-19 pandemic is likely to get worse, says Fauci



“We have to squat and get through this fall and winter because it won’t be easy,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci on Thursday.

The warning isn’t new: experts – including the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – have long warned that the months ahead will be challenging. It doesn’t help that the U.S. continues to see around 36,000 new cases every day – which is better than August, but still too high, according to Fauci.

“I keep looking at that curve and getting more and more depressed that we will never really get to the baseline that I want,” he said.

There is a lot that could potentially help boost the fall Covid-1
9 numbers arrives. Colleges across the country have become hotspots for the virus weeks after reopening. And When students return home – which health officials have requested – they could spread the disease to more communities.

When the weather gets colder, American activities will likely move indoors, where the virus can spread more easily.

The pandemic will also soon move beyond the flu season, which means doctors will have a harder time distinguishing patients with Covid-19 from those with flu infection. The stresses on the health system will result in one of the “most difficult times we have seen in American public health,” said CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield.

Where we are now

More than 6.3 million infections have been reported in the U.S. since the pandemic began, and at least 191,789 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.
And these are just the cases that have been recorded – the actual number of infections could be far higher. Many may have had Covid-19 without knowing it, as around 40% of people infected have no symptoms, according to the CDC.
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Others could have been sick but never got the test they needed. According to a new study, at the start of the pandemic, the US severely undercounted Covid-19 cases – 90% of them were missing – mainly due to a lack of testing.

In the US, 28 states are reporting downward trends on their cases – including Florida and California – from the previous week, and 14 states are steadily hiking.

Experts fear a spate of cases could emerge weeks after the Labor Day celebrations last weekend, much as cases began to accelerate after the July 4th holiday.

“I don’t think it will take much to really bring us back to 70,000 new cases a day,” said Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, previously told CNN.

Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House’s coronavirus task force coordinator, urged people to get tested after the holiday weekend if they are in close contact with each other to avoid further community spread.

An ensemble forecast by the CDC now assumes that between 205,000 and 217,000 people will die in the United States by October 3.

The following will help

Things will change once a vaccine becomes widespread, says Fauci. But approval for one is likely months away, despite claims by the president that a vaccine might be available until election day.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner for the US Food and Drug Administration, told CBS earlier this week that the likelihood that a vaccine will be widely available this year is “extremely slim”.

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Health officials, including Fauci, said the vaccine is expected to be available for use by the end of this year or early next year. Meanwhile, the CDC has advised states to prepare for the distribution of the vaccine.

But until the US has a vaccine, there are still ways to contain the spread of the virus.

Face covering remains the most powerful tool in combating transmission.

If 95% of Americans were to wear face masks, more than 120,000 lives could be saved by Jan. 1, experts from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

According to one expert, the country’s biggest mistake in the pandemic was not getting enough Americans to wear masks.

“If you look at countries where mortality is only a fraction of that in the US, the general theme from the beginning of the pandemic has been universal masking,” said Dr. Jonathan Reiner, CNN medical analyst and professor of medicine at George Washington University, said.

Infected students should not be sent home

Colleges across the country have made face masks a requirement in hopes of keeping Covid-19 cases down. But just a few weeks into the first semester, sites from all 50 states have reported infections.
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The University of Texas at Austin announced this week that they have three confirmed clusters on campus that add up to about 100 positive cases of the virus. San Diego State University confirmed nearly 400 infections among students earlier this week, a few days after it was announced that it would be discontinuing face-to-face classes.

And more than 1,300 Arizona State University students have tested positive for the virus since Aug. 1.

Colleges and universities should try to isolate infected students instead of sending them home, Fauci said.

“You’re sending them back to their community, you will essentially be reseeding many communities across the country with people who are able to transmit infections,” he said earlier this week.

“So it’s much, much better to get them somewhere where they can comfortably relax.”

CNN’s Shelby Lin Erdman, Gisela Crespo, Kay Jones and Lauren Mascaren contributed to this report.


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