(CNN) - One health expert says rapid surges in coronavirus cases have made contact tracing impossible across the southern U.S.
Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of tropical medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, said on Monday, “The cases are rising so rapidly that we cannot even do contact tracing anymore, I don’t think. I don’t see how it’s possible to even do that. So, essentially, even our limited means of public health control are not possible, so this is, this dramatic acceleration, the epidemic is out of control in the southern part of the United States.”
This rapid rise in cases is considered a surge, not a second wave, because the infection numbers never lowered to where officials hoped they would, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Fauci, the nation's foremost infectious disease expert, said Monday, "We are still knee-deep in the first wave of this."
According to Johns Hopkins University data, more than 2.9 million people in the U.S. had been infected with coronavirus as of Tuesday morning. The virus has killed more than 130,000 people in the U.S.