WASHINGTON

As the coronavirus continues to spread across the US with more than 1 million infections, a top health official warned Wednesday a second wave of the pandemic is “inevitable.”

Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said “we could be in for a bad fall and a bad winter” if countermeasures are not put in place to combat COVID-19.

He said progress made could be lost if the states move too quickly to relax virus measures.

“If we are unsuccessful, or prematurely try to open up, and we have additional outbreaks that are out of control, it could be a rebound to get us right back in the same boat that we were in a few weeks ago,” Fauci told CNN.

He said the US is going in the right direction but “we need to continue to partner in a very active collaborative way with the states. We need to help them the same way they need to do the execution.”

As of Wednesday, more than 1 million people have been infected and at least 58,529 have died from COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University in the state of Maryland.

Since appearing in Wuhan, China last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 185 countries and regions.

More than 3.14 million cases have been reported worldwide, with the death toll surpassing 218,500 and more than 948,500 recoveries.

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