This could be 'the worst fall, from a public health perspective' ever, CDC head says


From a public health perspective, this fall could be one of the worst the U.S. has ever faced, CDC Director Robert Redfield, MD, said during an Aug. 12 interview with WebMD.

The surging pandemic combined with flu season could create the "worst fall" ever, dependent on Americans' adherence to CDC prevention guidelines, according to Dr. Redfield. Guidelines include mask-wearing, social distancing and washing hands often.

"I'm not asking some of America to do it — we all have to do it," Dr. Redfield said. About 95 percent to 99 percent of the nation would have to follow guidelines for them to be effective, he said.

Dr. Redfield also urged Americans to get a flu vaccine. Last year, about 47 percent of Americans got one, but this year the CDC is aiming for 65 percent compliance, Dr. Redfield said. The CDC has also purchased millions of extra flu doses to distribute this fall.

"Please don't leave this important accomplishment of American medicine on the shelf," the CDC head said.  

More articles on public health:
Youths who vape at higher risk of getting COVID-19, study finds
25 states where COVID-19 is spreading fastest, slowest: Aug. 13
New York City's COVID-19 death rate comparable to 1918 flu pandemic, study finds 

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