CDC head: US ‘ripe to have potentially a severe flu season’

Dr. Rochelle Walensky
Peter Afriyie
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing entitled, “Stopping the Spread of Monkeypox: Examining the Federal Response” on Wednesday, September 14, 2022.

The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said she believes the U.S. is “ripe” for a severe flu season this year.

“Not everybody got flu vaccinated last year, and many people did not get the flu,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky told NBC News. “So, that makes us ripe to have potentially a severe flu season.”

Walensky also noted that flu activity is starting to increase across the country, particularly in the South and south-central portions of the country.

This is not the first time this year that health experts have warned that the country is in for a tough flu season. Outgoing chief White House medical adviser Anthony Fauci said in early September that the U.S. should prepare for a “pretty bad flu season.”

Just under half of Americans in a recent survey — 49 percent — said they plan to get the flu shot this year, while another 41 percent said they unsure or do not plan to get the flu vaccine.

Tags Anthony Fauci Anthony Fauci Center for Disease Control and Prevention flu season flu shot NBC News Rochelle Walensky Rochelle Walensky
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