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COVID-19 is ‘one big wave,’ WHO official warns

Dr. Margaret Harris, a spokesperson for the World Health Organization, said COVID-19 might not have a second wave

Ethiopians wear masks to curb the spread of the coronavirus next to a train on the electrified Addis Ababa Light Rail transport system, in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Thursday, July 23, 2020.
Ethiopians wear masks to curb the spread of the coronavirus next to a train on the electrified Addis Ababa Light Rail transport system, in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Thursday, July 23, 2020.
Associated Press

Dr. Margaret Harris, a spokesperson for the World Health Organization, said recently that there might not be any evidence of a second COVID-19 wave, and that the disease is really offering one big wave.

Harris said COVID-19 pandemic is “one big wave” and not a seasonal virus.

“We are in the first wave. It’s going to be one big wave. It’s going to go up and down a bit. The best thing is to flatten it and turn it into just something lapping at your feet,” she said.

Harris said people should apply all the recommended measures — social distancing, wearing face masks, avoiding large gatherings — to help limit the risk.

Seasons, she said, don’t matter.

“People are still thinking about seasons. What we all need to get our heads around is this is a new virus and … this one is behaving differently,” she said. “Summer is a problem. This virus likes all weather.”

Per Reuters, Harris said there hasn’t been high numbers of the flu yet. This could mean the flu season starts later than usual.

“If you have an increase in a respiratory illness when you already have a very high burden of respiratory illness, that puts even more pressure on the health system,” she said.

Leading experts said that “second wave” might not be totally applicable to entire countries but rather local areas, The Guardian reports.

“‘Second wave’ isn’t a term that we would use (in epidemiology) at the current time, as the virus hasn’t gone away, it’s in our population, it has spread to 188 countries so far, and what we are seeing now is essentially localised spikes or a localised return of a large number of cases,” said Linda Bauld, professor of public health at the University of Edinburgh.