Texas, Arizona battle case surges as fears of new hotspots grow

Spiking coronavirus diagnoses in parts of the U.S. prompted many experts to speculate about a second round of restrictions in some states, even as the federal officials have unequivocally rejected the idea of a new national lockdown as being on the table.

To some extent, the surges in states like Texas, California, Arizona, Florida and South Carolina was anticipated from the start by health experts as restrictive orders were relaxed.

However, fears are growing as the Sunshine and Palmetto states reported their highest single-day increases, while the Lone Star State is weighing re-entering a lockdown. Oregon, meanwhile, has paused its reopening for a week as it sees cases rise.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during a White House task force briefing in early April that the biggest enemy of the virus was physical separation. As stay-at-home orders ease gradually, however, more people returning to public life is heightening the risk of infection.

Infectious disease experts like Dr. Amesh Adalja, an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University, credit the recent spikes to state re-openings. He told Yahoo Finance that hospitals need to be on high alert.

“They really need to think about reactivating their emergency operations plans,” Adalja told “On The Move” in an interview Friday. That includes ensuring adequate supplies and personal protective gear, as well as converting other wings to prep for a surge of ICU cases.

The virus is closing in on 8 million cases globally and more than 422,000 deaths, with Brazil’s skyrocketing cases of over 800,000 making it a global epicenter.

Second wave debate

There are over 2 million coronavirus cases in the U.S. (Graphic: David Foster/Yahoo Finance)

In the U.S. more than 2 million cases have been reported, and more than 114,000 deaths. The resurgence in parts of the country is still part of the first wave, experts say, and the country can expect a second wave to appear during flu season later this year.

Adalja explained that what is happening in this resurgence is likely to mimic how the COVID-19 count will resurface in the fall and winter.

“This is sort of a trial run, this is what we’re going to be dealing with, these kind of periodic spikes and waves that kind of go around the country in [tumultuous] times,” he said.

Meanwhile, existing vaccines, such as polio and tuberculosis, are being eyed by experts as potential candidates against the coronavirus. And while the world awaits a vaccine, many things about the virus are still being learned.

“We don’t know who spreads it the most and we don’t know who’s most succeptable. And what we think we know is based on a lot of guesswork & weeks of observation,” said former CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt in a tweet Thursday.

Anjalee Khemlani is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @AnjKhem

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