Dr. Peter Hotez says COVID-19 could return in next 2 to 3 years

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Dr. Peter Hotez, Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, COVID-19 could return in the next two or three years.

He also added that the US is seeing a peak in the number of COVID-19 cases over the next couple of weeks, which is going to be a difficult time.

"We're going to be up 3,000 deaths a day, unfortunately. We also may see that COVID-19 will be the leading cause of death in the US." Dr. Hotez added.

He said after we see the increase, we will start seeing a decrease shortly after.

"We may be in a situation where the disease goes down but won't disappear entirely. Then, it will begin again later in the fall or around this time next year," Dr. Hotez said.

He went on to say that the world may be dealing with COVID-19 for the next two to three years. He added that some level of normalcy should come in the summer when people could return to work, go shopping, eat at restaurants and go to bars.

Dr. Hotez said that's why it's important to create a national road map for the US over the next two to three years.

Dr. Hotez has been advocating to bring together some of the leading experts of the virus to make a game plan for what the country is going to do if we're put in this kind of situation.

"I'm focused on trying to bring together some of the best minds together and create a game plan," Dr. Hotez said.

He also added that he's been helping develop vaccines for COVID-19, and about a dozen of them may go into clinical trials.

"We have to face the reality that we may not have a vaccine for this epidemic, but we've got to make a plan for the country, accordingly," Dr. Hotez said.

He said that even though we can't stay indoors forever the stay-at-home orders are saving lives. He said it's a real possibility that the stay-home order in some parts on Texas will be extended.

"There's too many complexities about this virus and we don't even know the exact mechanisms, transmissions and the percentage of people who are not showing symptoms and transmitting the virus. It's a lot we don't know yet," Dr. Hotez said.

He also said he doesn't want to jump the gun, so he's waiting to see what's going to happen.
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