Although social distancing measures and overall awareness and sensitivity on Covid-19 has decreased globally, the World Health Organization issued a warning that millions more could die from the virus if people become complacent about the virus.
This warning was shared by Dr. Ranieri Guerra, the assistant director-general for strategic initiatives at the WHO. Guerra explained that as of now, the virus has spread at a rate that has been expected by health experts, especially after the initial soars and hikes.
He pointed to the only modern historical precedent – the Spanish flu from a 100 years ago. Guerra pointed out the similarities in the spread of the two viruses. After the numbers skyrocketed, it temporarily decreased during the summer, only to soar again in the autumn.
Sharing this analysis with the Italian media, Guerra specified the months of September and October as particular threats as temperatures suddenly drop after long months of heat and humidity.
Dr. Guerra is not the only official who has been pointing to the Spanish Flu as a potential warning sign. The head of the European Central Bank shared the same opinion, saying that it was natural for experts to get worried because of what happened 100 years ago.
One of the most worrying aspects of the Spanish Flu is how it returned with increased deadliness. Harvard epidemiologist Dr. William Hanage said that virus mutated and became more deadlier when it returned for a second round in the autumn of 1918.
While there is no specific definition of a second wave, health experts agree that they will all agree on one once it starts happening. One expert from Columbia University said that a great increase in a second group as situations subside in the first is a good sign of the second wave.
The historical precedent along with observations from health experts are worrying as more countries begin reopening their economies and lift strict restrictions on movement and gathering.
Global numbers have begun to rise again as more test positive in some of the world’s most populous countries, including Brazil and Pakistan. The delicate balance between ensuring the maximum public safety and keeping a sustainable economy has been elusive so far.
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