The second wave of coronavirus: when to expect should we be afraid

Pandemic coronavirus is far from complete. There are countries where still a high level of morbidity, and where the virus was brought under control, fear of the second wave, BBC reports.

Вторая волна коронавируса: когда ее ожидать и стоит ли опасаться

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Centuries ago the second wave of the pandemic “Spanish flu” claimed more lives than the first.

Virologists from several universities in the UK believe that the potential for the second wave of the pandemic Covid-19 is. How is she dangerous? BBC science correspondent James Gallagher questioned about British scientists.

What is the second wave?

You can imagine the waves of the sea. The number of infected increases, then decreases again: each such cycle, a “wave” of coronavirus.

Oddly enough, the common scientific definition of a wave pandemic no, says Mike Tyldesley, a specialist in mathematical modeling of infectious diseases with the University of Warwick in England.

“The concept of “wave” is interpreted arbitrarily,” he explains.

Some believe all the UPS and downs in the number of patients waves, but most often it is only the irregularities of the first wave. This situation now exists in some States of the USA.

To announce the end of the wave, the government should take the spread of the virus under control and to achieve a significant reduction in the number of new cases of infection.

About the beginning of the second wave it is possible to speak, if you notice a steady increase in the number of new cases. New Zealand, where he recorded the first infection after a 24-day break, and Beijing, where there is a new surge after 50 days without a coronavirus, is not located in this state.

However, some scientists believe that the situation in Iran now meets the criteria for the second wave.

What factors can trigger this?

Too significant weakening of quarantine measures.

The mode of rigid quarantine was the reason for serious disruptions in the lives of people around the world — destroyed jobs, impact on people’s health, violated the process of education. But the measures have helped to bring the virus under control.

“The most difficult puzzle is to understand how to keep control, minimizing the devastating consequences for ordinary people’s lives” — said the scientist-epidemiologist Adam Kucharski from the London school of hygiene and tropical medicine.

No one knows exactly how far you can go by the weakening of the quarantine.

Because of this, in Britain, restrictive measures are removed in stages and simultaneously introduce new control measures, e.g., wearing of masks and contact tracing of infected.

“In Britain and other countries, new outbreaks can occur very quickly if the quarantine gets lifted to a level after which to control further proliferation will be impossible,” explains Kucharski.

This is already beginning in Germany. There’s a newly discovered coronavirus 650 employees of the slaughterhouse.

The problem will not grow, if the government will quickly detect clusters of infections, be quarantined at the local level and not give the virus to spread further.

In the absence of a quick response such outbreaks can cause a second wave.

In South Korea, which was praised for an effective fight against the spread of coronavirus, had to introduce some restrictive measures after the occurrence of such outbreaks.

Will there be a second wave similar to the first?

Only if something will happen does not as expected.

Index of virus replication (R) — average number of people that one infected person passes the virus early in the epidemic was equal to three.

This meant that the virus spread quickly. But our behavior has changed, people remember about social distance, and in this situation it is difficult to imagine that R again so much to grow.

“No country will not be such that the quarantine is just over, and everything will go back to my old life — I am sure Kucharski. Even in countries where the virus has been brought under control, for example, in Brazil and India, the index of reproduction reaches three.”

If the number of infections will go up again, most likely, this growth will be relatively slow.

On the other hand, the second wave could theoretically be bigger than the first due to the fact that many people at risk of infection.

“But if the incidence of fast will go up, then we can quarantine them for the suppression of the second wave,” — says Mike Tyldesley from the University of Warwick.

When will start the second wave?

According to Adam Kucharikova, local outbreaks may appear in the coming weeks or months after the weakening of quarantine measures. But it does warrant a second wave.

Mike Tyldesley noted that if quarantine measures will weaken significantly, then the second wave can begin in late August or early September.

Winter can be challenging, given that coronaviruses usually spread faster in the cold season. Even small outbreak of the winter can lead to a new wave.

“Spring, we will undoubtedly help, says Professor Jonathan ball, a virologist from the University of Nottingham. But the second wave is almost inevitable, especially considering the fact that ahead of the cold months”.

“For the government main task — to ensure that the peak did not overwhelm the health system”, adds the scientist.

Will the virus less dangerous?

According to one theory, the virus eventually weakens — to quickly spread from one host to the other, without killing them.

Even HIV appears to be growing weaker in time.

“But there are no guarantees, it’s such a “lazy” theory some virologists” — says Professor ball.

In addition, the process of the alleged weakening of the virus may take a long time. The current pandemic has lasted for more than six months, and while there was clear evidence that the virus has mutated to a speedy distribution.

“I think the virus is now so well. For many people the symptoms are mild or they do not, they can spread, and so, reasons in order to weaken the strength of the virus there,” says Professor ball.

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