Could South Florida see a second wave of coronavirus?

As the area moves to reopen, concern is mounting that the virus will spike again

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – While current modeling suggests that Florida is past its peak of coronavirus cases, that’s not easing concerns of a possible second wave one that could be even more deadly than the first.

From the first handful of cases in the western part of the United States, COVID-19 quickly spread across the country. By mid March, South Florida was a developing "hot spot" with dire predictions of what was to come

"As soon as the numbers started doubling, we saw that doubling happening continuously and we saw the big increase then there was absolutely a response that this could turn into a true pandemic for our area. We need a rapid response," Shahnaz Fatteh, M.D., president of Broward County Medical Association, said.

While shutdown measures have been devastating for the economy, the infectious disease specialist said that social distancing and stay at home orders helped change the outlook.

But as South Florida moves to reopen, including its beaches, the concern is mounting that a second wave of the virus will be inevitable and devastating.

"History is always important and we know that the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic showed the second wave was deadlier than the first wave and it was more aggressive," Fatteh said.

It could be a double whammy, hitting right as the Fall flu season begins. This is why health experts emphasize that as much as we want our old lives back, it’s vital to underscore the need to continue the current safety measures that are in place.

Fatteh said it is a matter of time and remains to be seen depending on how consistently states and counties adhere to the recommend guidelines.

Health experts also underscore the need to get a seasonal flu shot in the Fall. Although it isn’t foolproof, it’s important to take all steps necessary to decrease your risk and your families risk of infections.

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About the Authors:

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.