Brits could be in for a 'pretty miserable winter', scientists have warned, as the emergence of new respiratory viruses could lead to further lockdowns.
Children and elderly people will be vulnerable to endemic viruses at the end of the year, according to a warning from Professor Calum Semple, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), which advises the Government.
If hospitals become 'overwhelmed', another health expert and government advisor warned that there may be the need for winter lockdowns, reports HullLive.
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Professor Semple told Times Radio: "I suspect we'll have a pretty miserable winter because the other respiratory viruses are going to come back and bite us quite hard. But after that, I think we'll be seeing business as normal next year.
"There's a sting in the tail after every pandemic, because social distancing will have reduced exposure, particularly of pregnant women and their newborn babies, they will have not been exposed to the usual endemic respiratory viruses.
"The protection that a pregnant woman would give to their unborn child has not occurred.
"So we are going to see a rise in a disease called bronchiolitis, and a rise in community acquired pneumonia in children and in the frail elderly, to the other respiratory viruses for which we don’t have vaccines.
"So that's why we're predicting a rough July, August and then a rough winter period."
Professor Semple called it the 'fourth wave winter' but added it would be much milder than the previous ones.