Public health experts say the U.S. may not be experiencing a “second wave” of coronavirus cases, because the first wave isn't over yet.
Scientists generally agree the nation is still in its first wave of coronavirus infections, albeit one that’s dipping in some parts of the country while rising in others.
Many experts say a recent surge in cases and hospitalizations in the South and West is concerning.
Some also are worried that a more substantial wave of cases may be looming in the fall or winter.
Rise in coronavirus cases brings new concerns in Alabama
Alabama and much of the Deep South are seeing a spike in coronavirus cases, concerning public health officials and people like state Rep. Merika Coleman who have lost loved ones.
Over the past two weeks, Alabama had the second highest number of new cases per capita in the nation.
South Carolina was fourth. Louisiana and Mississippi were also in the top 10.
The combination of preexisting health conditions and limited health care access in the region, along with pockets of public skepticism about health officials’ advice on the illness, complicate attempts to manage the virus.
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.Avoid non-essential travel.