Destructive 2nd wave seen in the US

WASHINGTON • A second wave of the novel coronavirus in the US could be even more destructive because it will likely collide with the beginning of flu season, one of the country’s top health officials said on Tuesday.

Robert Redfield (picture), director of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), called on Americans to use the coming months to prepare — and get their flu shots.

The US has recorded more than 800,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University, with more than 45,000 deaths (at press time) — the most reported of any country.

The US, like other countries, has scrambled to secure enough ventilators and personal protection equipment for medical staff while the death toll mounts.

Redfield said the virus arrived in the US just as regular flu season — which itself can strain healthcare systems — was waning.

If the two diseases peaked at the same time, he told the Post, “it could have been really, really, really, really difficult” for health systems to cope.

Getting a flu shot ahead of next flu season, he said, “may allow there to be a hospital bed available for your mother or grandmother that may get coronavirus”. — AFP