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Majority of Doctors Worldwide Believe a Second Wave of COVID-19 is Likely to Occur

Eighty one percent of physicians in the United States believe a second wave of COVID-19…

  • July 11, 2020

Eighty one percent of physicians in the United States believe a second wave of COVID-19 – defined as “a sharp increase in cases after achieving extended periods of low growth rates” – is likely to occur, according to healthcare data collection company Sermo’s COVID-19 Real Time Barometer survey.

Sixty-two percent of physicians in other countries, such as France, Korea and Australia, feel a second wave is likely.

The survey was conducted with nearly 4,000 physicians across 31 countries from June 10-12.

“I feel certain there will be a second wave of COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths, particularly in areas that have overly relaxed social distancing and mask wearing in a rushed attempt to return to ‘normalcy’,” said David Karpf, MD, endocrinologist.

Some Sermo members expressed concern a second wave could occur in the late fall or winter and be compounded by influenza, common respiratory viruses and other seasonal viruses.

When asked about preparedness for a second wave, only one-third (34%) of global physicians reported they expect their state or region of their country would be prepared, and a quarter (26%) are not confident lessons learned would be fully applied to a second spike.

Are we prepared locally?

In California, where new cases are increasing, 87% of doctors surveyed feel a second wave is likely, yet only 39% are highly confident their state will fully apply past learnings.

In Illinois, where strict guidelines have been in place since mid-March and residents are preparing to enter phase 4 later this week, 75% of doctors feel a second wave is likely. Only 10% of Illinois physicians surveyed are extremely confident the state will fully apply what was learned in wave one to wave two.

In New York, once the epicenter of the outbreak, 76% of doctors surveyed expect to experience a second wave, and more than half (51%) have confidence in how people would handle it.