Will coronavirus be a seasonal illness? Here’s what top health expert Fauci says

Americans need to prepare for the possibility of COVID-19 coming back as a seasonal illness, Dr. Anthony Fauci said during a White House press briefing on Wednesday.

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said there have been cases in Africa and the Southern Hemisphere, which is approaching colder seasons.

“If they have a substantial outbreak, it will be inevitable that we’ll get a cycle around the second time,” he said.

Studies have shown humid, warm weather could slow the pandemic, according to The Washington Post. They point to the virus possibly slowing during summer and coming back in the fall.

“I know we’ll be successful in putting this down now, but we really need to be prepared for another cycle,” Fauci said during the press briefing. He also emphasized the importance of a vaccine and treatments in case the virus returns a second time.

Scientists said coronavirus isn’t mutating significantly, which is good news for researchers who are trying to develop a vaccine, according to The Washington Post.

Fauci said there needs to be continued “randomized, controlled trial of drugs, so that we will have a menu of drugs” that are safe and effective, according to Business Insider.

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Summer Lin is a McClatchy Real-Time News Reporter. She graduated from Columbia University School of Journalism and was previously a News and Politics Writer for Bustle News.