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COVID-19 - Second Wave

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COVID-19 - Second Wave

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The second COVID wave alarmed us for the second time about how deadly the Coronavirus could impact human lives. Let us see more about COVID waves and measures to prevent them.

Written by

Dr. Lochana .k

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Anshul Varshney

Published At October 31, 2020
Reviewed AtJanuary 11, 2023


COVID-19 has indeed created a pathetic situation worldwide with its effects still extending to this point in time. But many countries are now observing a decline in fresh COVID cases with strict disease control measures and steadily increasing vaccination rates. However, the emergence of newer COVID variants and the occasional increase in cases in parts of the world cannot be ignored. Hence, a steady and fast incline in the percentage of people getting vaccinated and strict adherence to existing disease control measures is necessary until the coronavirus is eradicated from this planet.

What Is the Second Wave of COVID-19?

The second wave refers to the occurrence of any type of infection or condition that is known to be very active during the pandemic crisis. The infections might occur in a few groups of people initially. After a while, the symptoms of the disease are known to decrease. When the disease starts spreading in different parts of the world after an expected period of decline or recovery, then it is considered a second wave. Here in coronavirus, all the countries have strived hard by making attempts to overcome it. When the available resource information and medical facilities are giving a sign of a positive future, there are still a considerable degree of threats and emerging risks for COVID-19 to come back. It might cause devastating results. However, there is a possibility that an individual may develop immunity against COVID-19 after getting infected with it.

What Were the Causes of the Second Wave?

The most important cause of the second wave was negligence. In spite of strict rules being followed in many countries, people fail to maintain social distancing. It is sad to view people neglecting the usage of protective equipment like face masks and gloves. The importance of wearing a mask is emphasized more than gloves because the mouth and nose can drive a direct chance of getting an infection if left unprotected. For example, in the 1918 Spanish pandemic, people neglected all types of protection available. The second wave of this viral pandemic rose during the winter season. A small decline should not create a carefree attitude in an individual.

What Are the Risk Factors of the Second Wave?

  • The first and foremost risk factor is the change in climatic conditions. Winter is a season that brings different infections and flu. This is going to contribute to the existence or recurrence of COVID-19.

  • Pollution from vehicles and factories serve as an additive risk for the air. When the air gets polluted by such harmful practices, the risk of respiratory infections also increases.

  • Smoke from cigarettes is a default risk factor. While such habits still exist in people, passive smokers are always in a risk zone. The current situation will make smoking a contributing factor to various respiratory problems.

  • Some countries have the tradition of bursting crackers and fireworks during the festive season. Though it is for a limited number of days, the intensity of air pollution is relatively high. The smoke from the crackers is known to affect COVID-19 patients. This activity can aggravate existing allergic or respiratory problems.

  • If people are negligent towards the disease control measures it might pave the way for the third and fourth waves.

Which Countries Got Affected by the Second Wave?

Countries like India, Pakistan, France, South Korea, Tunisia, Iran, Turkey, the United States, Brazil, Mexico, Peru, France, Italy, Russia, and the UK witnessed the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic. Both mortality and morbidity rates were twice as high as the first wave. Strict international travel restrictions were imposed to prevent further spread. Hospitals were packed with COVID admissions and lack of beds became a major issue. Shortage of oxygen supply for patients with severe COVID and medicines to treat COVID added fuel to the fire.

What Were the Conditions of Hospitals in the Second Wave?

There was an increased demand for hospital beds. This also increased the necessity for healthcare providers. Added to this the winter season brought the fear of winter flu in several countries. Health professionals were on heavy obligations and burdens to serve the people. Many volunteers carried out the food preparations for the patient and washed their clothes. The increase in the number of cases worldwide will cause a decline in the number of volunteers.

What Are the Tips for Overcoming Subsequent Waves of COVID-19?

The ways to overcome future waves depends on the rules and regulations of the country. However, there are a few tips that can be followed to overcome it. They are:

  • The usage of face masks and gloves should be mandatory.

  • Use of alcohol-based sanitizers whenever necessary.

  • People should also adopt proper handwashing techniques. They can use soap and water to wash their hands.

  • Proper hygiene should be maintained.

  • The community should be maintained in a clean manner. Waste disposal should be done properly.

  • Avoiding junk food is recommended. It is better to choose homemade foods as they are prepared to clean and fresh. Avoiding non-vegetarian food is also a good option.

  • People should limit their visits to public places, theaters, and neighbors' houses. People do not know who is actually infected by COVID. Therefore, it is an obligation to stay safe so that people can stay sound and comfortable around their own family members.

  • Social events and marriages can be avoided.

  • Most importantly, every one needs to get vaccinated.

What Is the Latest Advice From Doctors to Avoid or Overcome Subsequent Waves?

Monoclonal antibodies:

The monoclonal antibodies are poorly effective as the new strains of the virus are showing their play. The activity of 18 monoclonal antibodies was tested, and it was identified that the neutralizing activity of some of them was impaired. The neutralizing potential of the following monoclonal antibodies was specifically identified to be lost:

  • Bamlanivimab.
  • Casirivimab.

The effect of Imdevimab was considered to be beneficial as it was able to maintain the potential of neutralization. If there is a cessation in the neutralizing potential, the monoclonal antibodies might fail to succeed in the war between the virus and humans. The chase for appropriate medications will be more if the modifications of the virus continue. The goal of the healthcare industry should focus on two important aspects:

  • Enhancing the mitigation measures.
  • Improving the effectiveness and rapid delivery of vaccines.

Mitigation Measures:

The mitigation measures help in preventing or reducing the adverse effects of COVID-19. These measures include all those sanitation and hygiene measures. The social health security aspects will be under the responsibility of the Government.The general rule of mitigation measure regarding COVID-19 is using a face mask, getting vaccinated, and following social distancing. Evidences have shown that hand hygiene and face masks reduce respiratory diseases in shared living settings and in turn, reduce the impact of COVID-19. Frequent hand washing with water and soap reduces the risk of acquiring and transmitting the infection. Cleansing and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces should be done regularly.


COVID-19 vaccines effectively keep you safe, and they are highly effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death. In addition, the best way to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is to get vaccinated. Therefore, the CDC recommends that everyone eligible, including people with weakened immune systems, keep up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines.


The overall pattern of the COVID pandemic so far has been a series of waves, surges in new cases followed by declines. Several factors such as human behavior, infection prevention, the effectiveness of the vaccines over time, and the number of vulnerable people have an impact on increasing or declining COVID cases in a particular location. Hence, getting vaccinated with all doses including booster doses is the most effective way of prevention.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Was the Cause of the Second Wave of COVID-19?

Negligence was the main contributor to the second wave. Many nations have strict laws, but people still fail to maintain social distancing. The carefree approach of the people toward this viral infection results in its reoccurrence in the form of a second wave.


Is There a Third COVID Wave?

From January through March 2022, India experienced the third wave of the epidemic, during which breakthrough infections were frequent. As a result, priority groups began receiving the third dose of the vaccine at the beginning of 2022.


What Symptoms Are Associated With the COVID-19 Second Wave?

With the second wave, difficulty in breathing, like shortness of breath and a decrease in the oxygen saturation level, was seen frequently. Apart from these prominent symptoms, other symptoms which characterize the second wave are the following: diarrhea, headache, dry mouth, hearing loss, loss of taste, abdomen pain, indigestion, inflammation in the eyes, and extreme tiredness.


When Did India’s Second Wave Begin?

The duration of the second wave was much shorter than the first. According to the data, the second corona wave started in India in March 2021. Although it was comparatively shorter in duration, it had significant consequences like a deadly fungal infection and mucormycosis. The mortality and morbidity rates were double those of the first wave.


When Did Omicron Start in the United States?

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)  in the US, the first instance of the omicron variant of COVID-19 was reported in California in November 2021. The affected individual was a traveler who returned from South Africa on November 22, 2021. The person tested positive and was self-quarantined after that. The symptoms were mild, which gradually improved over time. All close contacts were contacted, and they tested negative.


How Quickly Do the Symptoms of the Omicron Variant Appear?

The symptoms of the omicron variant appear as early as four days after exposure. According to data from December 2021, Omicron's typical incubation period is thought to be between two and four days. This means that symptoms may appear sooner after exposure than with other variations. However, in some individuals, the symptoms might appear after two days or 14 days after the exposure.


Can COVID Worsen After a Week?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that symptoms can show up two to 14 days after exposure to the virus. A person's symptoms may be modest for about a week and then could rapidly worsen. It is important to contact the doctor if symptoms suddenly get worse over a short period. There might be an emergency if the following symptoms appear: difficulty breathing, persistent chest pain or pressure, confusion or an inability to awaken the patient, or bluish lips or skin.
According to researchers, these deteriorating situations are typically brought on by an immune system overreaction following the onset of symptoms.


How Long Will Someone Continue to Test Positive for Omicron?

It depends from individual to individual. On average, after five days, one gets tested negative for omicron infection. A person is normally contagious a day or two before symptoms appear and for at least two or three days afterward. Contagiousness should then start to decline as the immune system begins to function.


What Can Be Done to Make COVID Go Away Faster?

COVID is a viral infection, and to speed up the recovery following tips should be followed:
- Adequate rest.
- Plenty of fluids.
- Nutritious and healthy diet.
- Warm saline gargles.
- Watch the symptoms carefully and report to the doctor immediately if they get worsen.
- Avoiding self-medication.


When Does the COVID Cough Begin?

After exposure to the virus, symptoms, including cough, may appear two to 14 days later. The cough may be dry or wet. Some individuals may have a wet cough with phlegm which is thick mucus.


How Does a Mild Case of COVID Feel?

A person is considered to be suffering from a mild form of COVID  if they exhibit any of COVID-19's various signs and symptoms (such as a fever, cough, sore throat, malaise, headache, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of taste and smell), but not abnormal chest imaging, dyspnea, or shortness of breath.


How Do COVID Symptoms Appear?

It might take two to 14 days for symptoms to show up after a person contracts the coronavirus. Coronavirus symptoms can start mild and develop progressively. A wide range of symptoms, including a dry cough and shortness of breath, can be experienced by a person with COVID-19. This is because the virus attacks the individual's immune system, and the body tries to get rid of the infection, due to which these symptoms appear.
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Dr. Lochana .k
Dr. Lochana .k



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