As coronavirus cases continue to sweep through countries, the head of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention alerted everyone on Wednesday to prepare for second wave of the deadly virus next year.
Dr. Robert Redfield said COVID-19 may turn out to be seasonal like other bugs such as the flu.
“I think we have to assume this is like other respiratory viruses, and there will be a seasonality to it,” Redfield told “Good Morning America.”
Redfield said that the country needs to ramp up testing capacity now, and implement other control measures, such as contact tracing, to prepare for the possibility of the next large outbreak.
“The CDC is science-based, data-driven, [so] until we see it, we don’t know for certain [there will be a resurgence]” Redfield said. “But it is critical that we plan that this virus is likely to follow a seasonality pattern similar to flu, and we’re going to have another battle with it upfront and aggressively next winter.”
The CDC director said he refers to the strategy necessary to fight the virus as “block and tackle, block and tackle.”
“We are working hard to augment [public health tools] now so that as we get into the next season we’ll be able to stay in high containment mode while we complement that with some continued mitigation strategies,” Redfield.
Dr. Redfield’s warning comes a day after a group of Harvard disease researchers said that people around the world might need to practice some level of social distancing intermittently through 2022 to stop COVID-19 from surging anew and overwhelming hospital systems.
Lifting social-distancing measures all at once could risk simply delaying the epidemic’s peak and potentially making it more severe, the scientists warned in an article published Tuesday in the journal Science.