MILWAUKEE— While cases of COVID-19 continue to climb across Wisconsin, many doctors and researchers aren't predicting the curve to spike in the U.S. as it did back in January, but they do anticipate more gradual waves going forward.

"At the end of the day, we're in that transition between a full-blown pandemic and an endemic, and we'll probably have some ebbs and flows but it's hard to predict," Dr. David Ottenbaker, the vice president of ambulatory clinical programs for SSM Health, told Spectrum News 1 on Thursday. "We hope we're out of the full pandemic where we're not going to have these massive surges, but we're going to have ebbs and flows and it's kind of what we're seeing right now."

Dr. Ottenbaker added that deciphering what could be COVID and what's simply a common cold has become more difficult without getting tested, as most people have been dealing with fewer or less severe symptoms thanks to the current variants.

"It can sometimes be very indistinguishable from the normal viruses," Dr. Ottenbaker added. "It's a sore throat, scratchy throat, cough, fever, chills, muscle aches— nothing very specific. The Delta variant from last fall gave us a lot more of the loss of taste and smell— we're seeing a little bit of that, but it's just a lot of viral-like symptoms."

You can watch the entire interview above.