health and medical

“Second wave” of coronavirus may not come in winter (but could arrive in spring)

“Second wave” of coronavirus may not come in winter (but could arrive in spring)

A second wave of COVID-19 may come later than expected. (Getty)

“second wave” of coronavirus arriving with the onset of the cold winter months could be wrong, a scientist has said. ” data-reactid=”23″ type=”text”>Predictions of a “second wave” of coronavirus arriving with the onset of the cold winter months could be wrong, a scientist has said. 

Professor Ben Neuman, chairman of biological sciences at Texas A&M University-Texarkana and visiting associate professor at the University of Reading, said that coronaviruses typically “peak” in spring.

Neuman said that predictions around coronavirus tend to lean too heavily on the influenza virus – which peaks in winter, but that most viruses are not as strictly seasonal as the flu.

Neuman said that some viruses normally peak in spring, including most coronaviruses, and others peak in summer or autumn, like poliovirus.

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Neuman also believes that simply moving indoors may not drive up coronavirus infections, as the winter months lead to a sort of voluntary self-isolation.

Neuman said, “The move indoors for the winter may not be likely to drive up COVID-19 numbers on its own.

“A cold winter can bring on its own mini-quarantine, as we stay home to avoid bad weather, and comes with a bit of natural PPE in the form of scarves and gloves.

“Instead, look for changes in behaviour that lead to mixing of people from different households, especially where masks would not be worn, as a potential source of COVID-19 – school reopenings, dinner parties, restaurants.”

Neuman also warned that the start of “flu season” could lead to a surge in negative tests, as people with flu seek coronavirus tests.

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Neuman said: “A possible side-effect of flu and COVID-19 season is that since both diseases start off with similar symptoms, more people will be ill enough to seek COVID-19 testing.

“Paradoxically, an influx of people with the flu seeking COVID-19 tests could potentially drive down the percentage of positive tests, which would then misleadingly suggest that COVID-19 was decreasing.

“That is one reason why per cent positive rates should not be taken in isolation to monitor the pandemic.”

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