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USA ENTERING THE FOURTH WAVE OF COVID-19?

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FOURTH WAVE OF COVID-19

Amidst the rise in the COVID-19 cases, the United States is believed to be entering the fourth-wave of the pandemic.

“Right now, I’m scared,” Rochelle Walensky, the new director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was quoted saying in a White House coronavirus briefing on Monday.

With a 20% jump in the daily cases as compared to the last two weeks, experts are really concerned about the upcoming future.

The Northeast is still reporting high cases and remains to be the cause of major concern. Meanwhile, Missouri, Montana, Georgia, and Texas have turned out to be the COVID-19  hotspots. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, international and homegrown variants of the virus continue to spread in the US. The U.K. variant – B.1.1.7, which is more transmissible, accounts for 9.4% of cases in New Jersey.

The rise can also be contributed to the fact that many governors are providing relaxation on COVID-19 safety protocols. It has also been observed that as the vaccination drive continues, people are becoming more relaxed on mask-wearing and social distancing, even though a greater population of Americans are still to be vaccinated.

This puts the unvaccinated lot at a higher risk of contracting the virus.

“This is leading to huge uncertainty in how things are going to unfold in the coming weeks and months,” Justin Lessler, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health was quoted saying. “I would be surprised if we don’t see at least one state with a significant resurgence, though I doubt it will happen everywhere.”

The current situation leads us to believe that a fourth wave is inevitable in the US. But mass vaccination can surely turn out to be a ray of hope in reducing the fatalities. As Dr. Mark Roberts, director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Public Health Dynamics lab, points out – prioritizing high-risk people for vaccination may be resulting in fewer fatalities even as cases increase.

On an individual level, people should continue wearing masks, observing social distancing, and avoiding large gatherings.

“I’m often asked, are we turning the corner?” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, said at a White House briefing. “My response is really more like we are at the corner. Whether or not we’re going to be turning that corner still remains to be seen.”

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