Major flu, coronavirus activity could slam U.S. health system, top official says

FILE PHOTO: Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Robert Redfield appears at a hearing on COVID-19 response held by the House subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., June 4, 2020. Tasos Katopodis/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Substantial activity from the novel coronavirus combined with a major flu season this fall could place a tremendous burden on the healthcare system, a top U.S. health official said on Thursday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is seeking emergency use authorization for a test to detect and differentiate flu from COVID-19, the agency’s director Robert Redfield said in prepared testimony before a House of Representatives committee.

Redfield said the agency was working with manufacturers to maximize the availability of the influenza vaccine.

Reporting by Michael Erman, writing by Lewis Krauskopf; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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