I-TEAM: CHOG doctor warns 2nd wave of COVID-19 could be worse

Wednesday, March 25, 2020
News 12 at 6 O'Clock/NBC at 7

A doctor at the Children's Hospital of Georgia has some thoughts. According to him, we’re just beginning round one. He’s more worried about a possible round two. (Source: WRDW)

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- We're all trying to adjust to this new normal, but we know a lot of you are wondering when things will actually get back to normal.

A doctor at the Children's Hospital of Georgia believes we're just beginning round one.

He’s more worried about a possible round two.

It sounds scary -- and it is -- but his reasoning is more about us than the virus itself.

Let’s go back, however, to Sylas Collins, a toddler we first introduced to you earlier this week.

Sylas still coughs and wheezes between breathing treatments, but his mother, Karen Collins, is happy to report that his fever is gone.

Sylas has asthma, and despite a doctor’s order for a COVID-19 test, three local hospitals refused to give him one.

"Each of the major medical centers around the country has been told by the CDC do what you can,” Dr. Jim Wilde, an infectious disease expert at CHOG. “We are doing what we can with resources we have, understanding that we can't be all things to all people."

CHOG also denied Sylas the test because he didn’t meet the CDC criteria.

"So if you're sick enough to be admitted, yes, we will do a COVID test that is going to have to take -- is it gonna have to do for right now for keeping an eye on what's going on in the public. We cannot test every child and every adult with a fever and cough over the next few weeks,” Dr. Wilde said.

According to Korean data and numbers coming in from Washington state, that's when things will likely explode here in numbers. Dr. Wilde says the data also gives us a window into when things could finally calm down.

"We may be looking at about an 8-week period. If that's the case, I'm clapping my hands now. That would be a wonderful thing because it means it's going to be over with - that there's an endpoint,” Dr. Wilde said.

That could be the good news. Once life gets back to normal, Dr. Wilde is worried we could come under attack again.

“I am nervous about a second wave,” Dr. Wilde said. “I hope it doesn't happen, and this is uncharted territory. We don't really know what's going to happen."

Dr. Wilde, however, has a guess, and he hopes you hear his warning.

“We're going to end up having folks, basically saying, ‘Why bother? We didn't have a big problem last time,’ and then we're in for big trouble with a second wave,” Wilde said.

Sylas' family is still focusing on this first wave.

Karen tells me she's feeling a little better today. Sylas' dad is improving, too.

They aren't through it yet, and neither is our community.

Dr. Wilde stresses the best thing we can do is continue to take this seriously and stay home. He says we all need to focus on that and remember a test won't change treatment.

He says, unless you're sick enough to be in the hospital, you likely don't need one.

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