CDC shifts from nukes to flu for public health education event: 3 things to know

The CDC on Jan. 12 changed the topic of its Tuesday "Grand Rounds" public health teaching session from responding to a nuclear detonation crisis to addressing widespread influenza.

Here are three things to know.

1. The CDC said it shifted the topic due to the spike in flu cases across the country, with every state in the continental United States reporting widespread flu activity for the week ending Jan. 6, according to the CDC's most recent flu update published Jan. 12.

"To date, this influenza season is notable for the sheer volume of flu that most of the United States is seeing at the same time which can stress health systems," said the CDC. "The vast majority of this activity has been caused by influenza A H3N2, associated with severe illness in young children and people 65 years and older."

2. The original Grand Rounds event announced Jan. 4 was meant to educate physicians, nurses, epidemiologists, pharmacists, veterinarians, certified health education specialists, laboratory scientists, and other health and science professionals on public emergency response in the event of a nuclear detonation. While the event had reportedly been in the works since April 2017, its announcement came as national news pundits weighed the possibility of nuclear conflict between the U.S. and North Korea after President Donald Trump tweeted boasting about the size of his "nuclear button."

3. The decision to reschedule the event came before Hawaii's false emergency missile alert on Saturday, which was attributed to human error, according to NPR. The CDC said the previous topic would be the subject of a future Grand Rounds, which the agency holds on a near-monthly basis. Tuesday's event is scheduled for 1 p.m. EST.

More articles on infection control: 
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CDC: CLABSIs down 50% since 2008 
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