(CNN)Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on Wednesday that he thinks there will be an uptick in cases of Covid-19 over the next few weeks and that it is likely that there could be a surge in the fall.
“I think we should expect, David, that over the next couple of weeks, we are going to see an uptick in cases — and hopefully there is enough background immunity so that we don’t wind up with a lot of hospitalizations,” Fauci said when asked by Bloomberg TV’s David Westin about the prospect of another wave of Covid-19 from BA.2 or another variant, given the level of immunity believed to exist in the US today.
Fauci reiterated that the US often follows other countries, offering the UK, which also has the BA.2 variant, as an example. He said that as well as a pullback on many mask mandates and restrictions for indoor settings, there has been a waning of immunity.
“Those conditions are also present in the United States,” he said. “So, I would not be surprised if we see an uptick in cases. Whether that uptick becomes a surge where there are a lot more cases is difficult to predict.”
Asked later whether it should be expected that this fall will look like the past two — and if people should be bracing for something around October — Fauci said that he thinks “it is likely that we will see a surge in the fall.”
He noted that “these are uncharted waters for us with this virus” and that with other viruses, such as flu — which people have decades of experience with — predictions about what might happen can be made with some degree of accuracy.
“I would think that we should expect that we are going to see some increase in cases as you get to the colder weather in the fall,” he said. “That’s the reason why the [Food and Drug Administration] and their advisory committee are meeting right now to plan a strategy, and we at the [National Institutes of Health] are doing studies now to determine what the best boost would be.”
CNN’s Virginia Langmaid contributed to this report.