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Experts are worried about another COVID-19 surge

Will there be another COVID-19 surge? Experts are worried about it

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A man receives a COVID-19 vaccine in the Harlem section of New York, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021.

A man receives a COVID-19 vaccine in the Harlem section of New York, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021.

Seth Wenig, Associated Press

Public health experts are worried that coronavirus variants may lead to another surge of COVID-19 cases.

What’s going on?

Experts recently told CNN that the B.1.1.7 variant — the highly contagious variant originally discovered in the United Kingdom — could fuel a new surge of COVID-19 cases.

  • “It could result in more of a wave in, say, April or May than we would have expected otherwise,” said Trevor Bedford, of the University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, according to CNN. “But I still do suspect that things will be brought under control in the summer, and there will be very little virus circulating.”
  • Andy Slavitt, the White House senior adviser for the COVID-19 Response Team, toldCNNthat the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is preparing for such a surge.

It doesn’t help that three new studies suggested the COVID-19 variant originally discovered in Brazil might reinfect people who previously had COVID-19, The New York Times reports.

  • The studies said the variant “gained the ability to infect some people who had immunity from previous bouts of COVID-19. And laboratory experiments suggest that P.1 could weaken the protective effect of a Chinese vaccine now in use in Brazil,” according to The New York Times.

More expert advice

Some states — like Texas — have decided to roll back statewide mandates, as well. That’s why Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,  told CNN she doesn’t want states to end mandates too soon.

  • “I am really worried about reports that more states are rolling back the exact public health measures we have recommended to protect people from COVID-19,” she said.
  • “Please stay strong in your conviction. Continue wearing your well-fitting mask and taking the other public health prevention actions that we know work,” Walensky said.