CDC Sees ‘Second Wave’ Of Coronavirus Infections In Fall Or Winter

(AmericanPoliticalDaily.Com)- The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told NBC News on Monday that he believes a “second wave” of the coronavirus will hit the United States in “late fall or winter,” and that antibody testing will be key to returning life to normal.
These antibody tests look for antibodies in someone’s blood that their immune system makes to respond to an infection. When these antibodies are present, it shows whether a person had coronavirus and recovered.
Knowing who has these is critical, Dr. Robert Redfield said, because there is a strong theory in the medical community that once you have coronavirus, you are immune to getting it again. This would help determine people who would be more than safe to return to normal life with no concern for becoming infected.
In addition to helping the country return to normal life, antibody testing — if done on a wide scale — could help medical authorities see the accurate picture of how many people were actually infected, as well as the mortality rate of the virus.
One thing Redfield did emphasize in his chat with NBC News is that future immunity to COVID-19 hasn’t been proven yet. As he said:
“I think it’s important to emphasize that we haven’t yet proven that once you develop antibodies, [you develop protective immunity]. It’s immunity still a scientific hypothesis that this virus will lead to protective immunity of some duration.
“A lot of that won’t really be validated until we begin to see the next fall, winter, [when] we’ll have a large group of individuals predefined that has been serologically positive [for antibodies] that are in high-risk professions — health care professionals, high-risk situation institutions like nursing homes.
“Then we’ll be able to understand what I think most of us hypothesize will be true, that, like other coronaviruses like SARS and MERS, there will be a protective immune response that will have a durability to it.”
By knowing who has had COVID-19 and who may be immune to it — if that factor proves true — could help health care systems deploy the proper personnel to the front lines of battling another wave of infections. If, for example, some workers already were infected, they’d be safe to be helping new patients.
The same goes, though, for people all across the country in any profession. As Redfield said:
“I think there is this assumption that it may accelerate confidence in some individuals returning [to work] as though I’m immune, but I really think its major role is going to be in more of a public health role and the impact that it has, as we try to develop some alternative care delivery mechanisms to be available for fall and winter, when in fact we will probably have additional coronavirus infections.
“The hope is that we won’t have to go to such dramatic mitigation strategies as basically shutting down schools and the economy because we would have a strong public health workforce. We have created the capacity within the public health system to effectively operationalize containment as we go through the second wave.”