A new surge in coronavirus cases in Europe is causing concern in the United States, with some doctors and researchers predicting an equally troubling spike in the U.S.
“I’ve been predicting a pretty bad winter wave again, and it looks like it’s starting to happen,” Peter Hotez, the dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, told The Guardian. “There’s just too many unvaccinated and too many partially vaccinated [people].”
According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average of new daily coronavirus cases in the U.S. has surpassed 85,000, a more than 14 percent increase from a week ago.
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) projected about 863,000 total deaths from the coronavirus pandemic by March 2022. However, the CDC reports 762,994 people have already died in the U.S. from COVID-19. The IHME’s worst-case scenario projection predicts nearly 2 million coronavirus deaths by March 2022.
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Only 58.9 percent of the U.S. population are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
However, some experts are optimistic, citing the protection from vaccinations, vaccines becoming available to children, as well as the possibility of new treatments, such as antiviral medications.
“I do expect to see cases increasing – we’ve started to see this in the last week or so,” David Dowdy, an associate professor of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University, told The Guardian. “I don’t think what we’re seeing in Europe means we’re in for a huge surge of serious illness and death as we [saw] here in the US” in winter 2020.
“People can still get Covid, there can still be breakthrough infections,” added Rupali Limaye, an associate scientist at Johns Hopkins University. “But the great news is if you have been vaccinated you are very much less likely to be hospitalized or have severe infection.”
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