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Infectious disease expert weighs in on when COVID-19 spread will peak

Catch the full interview with Dr. Louis Katz on "News 8 THIS WEEK with Jim Mertens" that airs Sundays at 10 a.m. on WQAD.

One of the biggest questions in response to the coronavirus pandemic is "When will the spread hit its peak in our area?"

Many businesses have shut down, restaurants and bars have shifted their services, and schools are moving to e-learning. In Illinois and Iowa, these shut-downs and changes are set to remain throughout April, but one medical expert says it could be much longer.

RELATED: Illinois governor issues 'stay at home order' in response to coronavirus spread

RELATED: Iowa governor closes schools through April 30

News 8's Jim Mertens talked with infectious disease specialist Dr. Louis Katz about his projection on the virus.  Dr. Katz says he expects "we're in this for weeks and months, not days and weeks."

His advice? Don't focus on a return to normal in the immediate future, but plan for that much further down the road. 

RELATED: 'Flattening the curve': How you can protect yourself and the QC from COVID-19

"I think talking in terms of next week, or Easter, or two weeks, or the first of May gives people a sense of false optimism."

He's looked at patterns across the world to form his opinions on the timeline, and refers to it as a "marathon, not a sprint."

Catch the full interview with Dr. Louis Katz on "News 8 THIS WEEK with Jim Mertens" that airs Sundays at 10 a.m. on WQAD.