Leading Houston COVID-19 expert cautions about pandemic's future

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- One of Houston's leading COVID-19 experts said we're seeing "good stuff" right now when it comes to the pandemic. But he remains cautious about what's ahead and stressed we should manage our expectations.

Dr. Peter Hotez, the dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, said rising cases in Europe, waning vaccine protection, and wastewater viral loads in parts of this nation give him pause.

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"Right now, the numbers are coming down precipitously and we're in a very good place. For instance, in Harris County, we're approaching maybe five new cases per 100,000 residents on a seven-day average, which is a really low level. It's about as low as it's ever been in the last few months," said Hotez. "I think we do have to be aware of the possibility that we could start seeing an upswing again in the number of new cases of COVID. If that happens, it could happen by the end of this month or early into April."

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Hotez said they're closely watching a sub-variant of omicron to see if cases spike in parts of the world. He said he hopes national leaders provide guidance on what we can expect, so people don't get lulled into a false sense of security.

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