If Americans don’t follow coronavirus prevention measures such as wearing masks and social distancing, the country could be in for its “worst fall” in history, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned Thursday.
During an interview with WebMD, CDC Director Robert Redfield said a virus surge, along with the upcoming flu season, could create the “worst fall” that “we’ve ever had.”
Colder weather in the fall will likely drive more people indoors, where health experts say COVID-19 spreads more easily.
Coinciding flu and COVID-19 outbreaks could overwhelm hospitals and drain resources, threatening lives and the response to the pandemic.
Redfield said the CDC is urging people to get a flu shot, and the agency has purchased an extra 10 million doses of the vaccine – compared with the typical 500,000 – to make sure states have enough to cover uninsured adults.
“I’m trying to tell the American public, please don’t leave this important accomplishment of American medicine on the shelf,” Redfield said.
“We’re going to have COVID in the fall, we’re going to have flu in the fall,” he added, saying if people get vaccinated against the flu, they could potentially be freeing up a hospital bed for someone infected with COVID-19.
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SOURCE: The Hill, Nathaniel Weixel