The World Health Organization has revealed that unlike other viruses, COVID-19 is not subjected to seasonal fluctuations. As Reuter reports, WHO instead says the pandemic is taking shape as “one big wave” that perseveres regardless of the time of the year.
“We are in the first wave. It’s going to be one big wave. It’s going to go up and down a bit. The best thing is to flatten it and turn it into just something lapping at your feet,” WHO spokesperson Margaret Harris said in a Tuesday briefing, according to Reuters.
This contradicts earlier predictions that the virus would slow in the summer and return with a second wave in the fall. Instead, the summer months have seen rapidly rising cases in the virus across the south, with cases also rising internationally in early-hit places like Hong Kong.
“People are still thinking about seasons. What we all need to get our heads around is this is a new virus and...this one is behaving differently,” Harris said. “Summer is a problem. This virus likes all weather.”
There are still concerns that coronavirus cases in the fall could rise and overwhelm the healthcare system as schools open up and the annual influenza season begins. In the Tuesday briefing, Harris urged people to get vaccinated against the flu.
“If you have an increase in a respiratory illness when you already have a very high burden of respiratory illness, that puts even more pressure on the health system,” she said.
Cases in the U.S. continue to rise, as the world’s largest vaccine trial begins this week.