Fauci does not expect major surge in COVID cases in U.S.

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WASHINGTON, March 22 (Reuters) - Top U.S. infectious disease official Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Tuesday he would not be surprised to see an increase in COVID-19 cases in the United States, but he does not expect a major surge.

"I would not be surprised at all, if we do see somewhat of an uptick," Fauci told a Washington Post event. "I don't really see, unless something changes dramatically, that there would be a major surge."

Fauci said the expected rise in coronavirus cases would be due to the increasing dominance of the highly transmissible BA.2 Omicron sub-variant, the relaxation of mask-wearing requirements and waning immunity in the population.

Fauci said the United States often follows the COVID-19 pattern seen in Britain by a few weeks.

"What the UK is not seeing, and that's good news, is an increase of severity or an increase in the use of intensive care unit beds or an increase in the all-cause mortality," he said.

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Reporting by Michael Erman and Eric Beech; Editing by Chris Reese and Jonathan Oatis

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