Coronavirus pandemic likely to last SIX MONTHS and mask and gloves won’t help, says expert who predicted outbreak – The Sun
A SELF-described "medical detective" says the coronavirus pandemic will likely last six months and could cause nearly half a million deaths.
Michael Osterholm estimates that there could be up to 96 million cases, with half of those people requiring hospitalization.
The infection disease expert told the Joe Rogan Experience podcast this week that the number of cases in the US will rise "astronomically" in the days and weeks to come.
"It's just beginning," Osterholm said.
"In terms of the hurt, pain, suffering, death that has happened so far is really just the beginning.
"This is going to unfold for months to come. We're gonna be in some hurt for the next few months."
He said that "just breathing air" is likely the main way that the virus is spreading, and emphasized that wearing a mask and gloves might not help much.
Osterholm told Rogan that the "whole issue of using your hands and touching your face" is most likely not how the virus spreads.
"The data is actually very weak that the virus is going to be transmitted that way," he said.
The coronavirus is easily transmitted and is likely to be 10-to-15 times worse than the worst seasonal flu, according to Osterholm.
There have been more than 1,000 confirmed cases in the US and at least 37 deaths.
The crisis is more dire in countries such as Italy, where there has been more than 800 deaths.
Osterholm told Rogan that a doctor friend of his in the European country told him that medical personnel are routinely deciding "who they are going to let die."
The number of coronavirus cases globally has risen to well over 100,000.
Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, wrote in a 2017 book that the US is not well prepared to fight a pandemic.
"We are worse off today than we were in 2017 because the health care system is stretched thinner now than ever," he said recently, according to CNN.
"There is no excess capacity. And public health funding has been cut under this administration."
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