What keeps CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield up at night? Pandemic flu

CDC Director Robert Redfield, MD, cited a global flu pandemic as a serious and "very possible" fear that keeps him up at night, according to CBS News.

Dr. Redfield discussed the possibility of another flu pandemic during an interview with "CBS This Morning" co-host John Dickerson.

"You know, people ask me what keeps me up at night," Dr. Redfield said in the interview. "And the thing that keeps me up at night is just what you brought up, pandemic flu. … I think it's very possible."

The 1918 flu pandemic sickened about 500 million people worldwide and caused 50 million deaths. The CDC previously said a pandemic could resurface if a strain mutated or developed directly from an animal flu virus. The agency cited the lack of a worldwide vaccine and humans' weak immunity as the major contributing factors for a potential pandemic.

Dr. Redfield cited vaccination as the most important tools the U.S. has to minimize the flu's effects this season.

"Our best preparation for [a] pandemic is to optimize our response to seasonal flu. … But, John, I think that … remains a serious possibility," Dr. Redfield said.

The CDC estimates 80,000 Americans died from the flu during the 2017-18 season, which represents the highest death toll in at least 40 years.

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