Multiple US states have found a resurgence in coronavirus cases after reopening.
Insider recently spoke to four doctors in Houston, Chicago and south Florida — all of which have recorded high daily coronavirus cases in recent weeks.
All said they are seeing younger patients with less severe symptoms than people they treated at the beginning of the US outbreak in March.
They also blamed the recent rise in cases on a lack of social distancing and mask wearing.
The Florida doctor said his state should have imposed a mask mandate early on in the pandemic, but that it would be too late now. “We’re beyond the point of no return,” he said.
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After much of America started coming out of coronavirus lockdowns in the spring, new hotspots have emerged across the country.
Insider spoke to emergency medicine physicians located in three areas seeing a concerning number of cases — Houston, Chicago and south Florida — to see what the fight against the coronavirus looks like today.
They all noted that the type of patients and severity of their illness have changed over the course of the pandemic. Many also blamed the new rise in cases on the lack of social distancing and mask-wearing in public, and “pandemic fatigue.”
Younger, less sick, patients
All the doctors said that the coronavirus patients they have seen in recent days have less severe symptoms and tend to be younger, compared to the initial surge of cases they saw at the beginning of the pandemic.
Bradley Kutka, an emergency medicine physician at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital outside Chicago, said he thinks the reason he is seeing younger patients is because they are “more prone to start going back to socializing … as opposed to older people who are being more cautious.”
As of Friday, there are more than 104,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Cook County, where Kutka’s hospital is located.
Signs of herd immunity?
A 33-year-old attending physician at a hospital in southwest Florida said the fact that they’re seeing fewer severe cases could be a sign that herd immunity is starting.
The physician asked that neither he nor his hospital be identified, because he is not authorized to speak to the press, but his identity is known to Insider.
“One of my theories is that there are definitely many people out there who have antibodies,” he said.
“I think we’re starting to develop widespread antibodies which is why we’re seeing less severity.”
The Florida doctor said he worried that the rise in cases was a result of people being tired of lockdowns and getting complacent about public-health measures.
“If you look back at the 1918 flu pandemic, it was the same thing,” he said. “I think history is repeating itself.”
“You go into lockdown, people come back out when they think everything is OK, they let their guard down, and then the virus spreads even more.”
“Part of it too could be increased testing, but I think that there’s definitely a sense of pandemic fatigue and people being done with this,” he said.
Beau Gemignani …read more
Source:: Business Insider – Science