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Facts behind concerns of COVID-19 second wave

 As we continue to track the number of COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin, many people are wondering whether there could be a resurgence of the virus this fall.
As we continue to track the number of COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin, many people are wondering whether there could be a resurgence of the virus this fall. (NBC15)
Published: Jun. 18, 2020 at 6:17 PM CDT
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As we continue to track the number of COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin, many people are wondering whether there could be a resurgence of the virus this fall.

To find the answers, NBC15 dug deeper into the history of pandemics and their similarities, specifically between the Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and COVID-19.

The Influenza Pandemic of 1918, also known as the “Spanish Flu,” came

The first came in the spring of that year, the second and most deadly wave came in the fall. That’s when 195,000 Americans died in October alone.

Madison College history instructor Christine Bohman-Cina said even though this happened a century ago, it's not hard to see a pattern between the two separate pandemics.

“It came to the United States in spring of 1918 and then in the summer it kind of fell away a bit, and we were masking and quarantining the best we could, but then we got kind of lackadaisical about it, and then in October, there was a huge second wave," Bohman-Cina said. “But by November, it was dissipating."

The third and final wave lasted from the winter of 1918 into the spring of 1919, and the virus died out in the summer of 1919.

NBC15 also reached out to Nasia Safdar, the Director of Infection Prevention at UW-Heath, and asked if a second wave of COVID-19 is likely to happen this fall.

"I think with a new virus, it's difficult to predict if it's going to behave exactly like other viruses that are in the same family," Safdar said. “I think that many respiratory viruses have a seasonality to them. I think it's likely that there will be a second wave when it comes to COVID-19, there will also be influenza, there will also be other respiratory illnesses in the fall."

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