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Medical experts share when things could return to normal for Maryland

Marylanders are in the fifth week of social distancing and numbers of coronavirus cases continue to rise. So, when might it end and what will happen when social restrictions are lifted?

WBAL-TV 11 News spoke with two top epidemiologists and they had some answers for Marylanders.

It's been more than a month since the coronavirus pandemic hit Maryland, Latest Baltimore News but medical experts don't expect a peak to hit until sometime next in May.

What happens after that is just an educated guess.

Dr. William Moss, a doctor with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said Marylanders will likely see more waves of infection as social restrictions are scaled back.

“I think this is going to be in the foreseeable future six months, 12 months -- maybe even longer. We're not going to go back to the type of life we lived before,” Moss said.

Dr. Gregory Schrank, an epidemiologist with the University of Maryland Medical System said that could be the case, but it depends on some big unknowns, namely, how many people have had the virus, undetected, and how long their antibodies will protect them.

“If large numbers of people in the area have been infected with an antibody to the virus we're actually protected then for months or years, we might not see another wave or surge of cases for quite some time," Schrank said.

Both Moss and Schrank agreed before social distancing recommendations are lifted, there needs to be more widespread testing and infrastructure to isolate those who test positive.

“We have been moving and making progress week by week and we're inching closer to the point where we can actually start to test a much larger capacity for patients and around the community,” Schrank said.

Both doctors agreed the real solution is a vaccine, Press Release Distribution Service but creating one that's safe and effective will likely take at least a year.

But there are some possible treatments in clinical trials now.

“I expect we'll get answers on some of the treatments being studied now within the coming weeks,” Moss said.

No one knows for sure how this will play out, but: “There is a light at the end of the tunnel we hopefully will move beyond a peak and a surge of cases very soon," Schrank said.

Another big area of research is developing a reliable antibody test. Dozens of companies around the world are working on that too.

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