Tags: Coronavirus | vaccine | immune | antibodies | weather | herd immunity

Experts Say Immunity Will Play Role in Second Wave of COVID-19

doctors in white coats and face masks stand outside the emergency room in an ny hospital
Medical personnel talk outside the emergency room at NewYork-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital. (Mary Altaffer/AP Photo) 

By    |   Monday, 20 April 2020 07:32 AM

While communities are still dealing with the impacts from the COVID-19 outbreak, scientists are warning to brace for a second wave of the virus. 

But what the impact of the second wave will be remains to be seen. Experts indicate immunity and weather will play roles in how bad another outbreak could be, while scientists race to come up with a vaccine. 

“It’s unfortunately not unlikely that we may see a second wave or even a third wave,” Peter Marks, director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research told USA Today

Whether the second wave will aggressively attack the people who have been sheltering in place or will be a small swell is unknown as experts continue to study immunity. 

Scientists say those infected are expected to have some immunity from contracting the virus again. USA Today reports that is a good sign because so many people have had the virus and others likely had it asymptomatically, which contributes to herd immunity before a widespread vaccine is available. 

The more people who have immunity to the virus will make it harder for the virus to infect new people. 

“It would mean we’d be getting to herd immunity through natural immunity,” Marc Lipsitch, a professor of epidemiology at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health told USA Today.

Lipsitch co-wrote a paper in the journal Science modeling what COVID-19 might look like after the initial pandemic has passed.

Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and editor-in-chief of the journal Vaccine Gregory Poland said the second wave is likely to hit places that were not affected in the first outbreak. 

“This outbreak has predominantly been on the two coasts. Wave 2 will be in the interior of the country where there are a lot of susceptible people,” he said.

Another factor determining when the virus will reappear is whether it thrives longer in cooler, drier weather like the flu. 

“We have no idea really whether this is going to bounce back the moment people start going back outdoors or if the warmer weather is actually going to help us out,” said Michael Mina, a professor of epidemiology at the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “If it doesn’t happen in the summer, we’d all be very surprised if we don’t see some reemergence in the fall,” he told the publication.

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While communities are still dealing with the impacts from the COVID-19 outbreak, scientists are warning to brace for a second wave of the virus. But what the impact of the second wave will be remains to be seen. Experts indicate immunity and weather will play roles in how...
vaccine, immune, antibodies, weather, herd immunity
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2020-32-20
Monday, 20 April 2020 07:32 AM
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