The top infectious disease expert in the US says we're seeing 'glimmers' that social distancing is helping, but says a turnaround is yet to come

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The top infectious disease expert in the US says we're seeing 'glimmers' that social distancing is helping, but says a turnaround is yet to come

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speak during a press briefing with the coronavirus task force, at the White House, Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

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  • Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Tuesday that the US is starting to see "glimmers" that social distancing is having a dampening effect on the spread of the coronavirus.
  • There's a "reasonably good chance" that a second wave of the virus hits later this year, he said in an interview with CNN.
  • Fauci said that while people who survive the virus are likely to be immune, there won't be enough of them to provide "herd immunity" to prevent community spread.
  • The US "will be much, much better prepared than we are right now" if the second wave of the virus comes again later this year.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the United States' top infectious disease expert, said on Tuesday that the country is starting to see "glimmers" that social distancing is dampening the spread of the coronavirus.

"What we're starting to see right now is just the inklings," Fauci said in an interview with CNN.

The United States has yet to see a turnaround in cases, however, Fauci said.

More than 500 people died in the US from the coronavirus on Monday, the highest single-day death count so far in the US. Over 164,000 people have been infected and more than 3,000 have died from the virus in the United States.

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States around the country have issued stay-at-home orders and President Donald Trump has extended social-distancing guidelines until the end of April in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.

Fauci also cautioned that there's a "reasonably good chance" that a second wave of the virus hits later this year, but said that it's unlikely to be as bad as what the world is currently experiencing.

"We will be much, much better prepared than we are right now," Fauci said of the second wave.

Fauci said that people who were infected with the virus and survive it are likely to have immunity, but that there likely won't be enough recovered people to provide "herd" immunity, which would significantly curb community spread. Herd immunity is the protection usually gained through widespread vaccinations.

Fauci urged people to "hang in there and abide by the mitigation strategies" like social distancing.

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"We will get over this and this will end," Fauci said.

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