Second wave of COVID-19 may be worse, doctors warn

Coronavirus

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Local doctors are reacting after the director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Robert R. Redfield warned Tuesday that a second wave of COVID-19 could happen during flu season and be worse than what the country is dealing with now.

“We need the rapid test, the antibody test, and a small army of public health workers to do the contact tracing,” explained Dr. James Hildreth, President of Meharry Medical College.

Without these things, Dr. Hildreth warns, the country will continue to see outbreaks he calls explosive, “We’ve got to be able to contain those small outbreaks so they don’t become big outbreaks.”

Dr. Marshall Hall, Emergency Medical Director for TriStar Skyline Medical Center, agrees it’s a possibility.

“If it follows the typical pattern,” said Dr. Hall, “We will typically see a spike in the winter months not only of influenza but other viral illnesses.”

Which concerns those on the front line.

“If you put those two illnesses together then you can absolutely strain the system where you start running out of inpatient beds, or worst-case scenario, you run out of ventilators,” said Dr. Hall.

It’s for those reasons Dr. Hildreth says there’s only one answer, “We got to test. We just got to do it.”

While others, like Dr. Hall, continue to brace, “If we see a big uptick in the next couple months or in the fall or winter of this upcoming year, it makes me a little wary and concerned about what we may see.”

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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