July 27, 2021

Six months into the pandemic, health experts confront a new fear: Two virus outbreaks

Six months. That’s all it took for a new virus to circle the globe and infect more than 10 million people, including 2.5 million in the U.S.

That period of time could have been enough to slow or even stop the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. Some countries, such as New Zealand, have succeeded so far.

But six months since the first report of a new virus emerging in Wuhan, China, on Dec. 31, the U.S. and other countries worldwide are experiencing surges in new cases.

On Monday, the World Health Organization marked the six months since a cluster of cases of a mysterious pneumonia in China was reported with a warning that the pandemic is “actually speeding up.”

“We all want this to be over. We all want to get on with our lives,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in his opening statement. “But the hard reality is: This is not even close to being over.”

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