Update: Officials said Friday night that flu response would be preserved. Read more here.
WASHINGTON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention won’t be able to support its annual influenza program if the government shuts down at midnight, according to the contingency plan for federal health agencies posted Friday. This year’s timing coincides with an especially severe flu season that has not yet reached its peak.
The most recent shutdown, in 2013, saw the majority of CDC flu staff furloughed, MedPage Today reported. “State health departments [were] still collecting flu data, but their information [was] not being sent to the CDC. Among other things, that means the agency has no idea of the geographic spread of the disease — something that’s often used to smooth out the delivery of vaccine.”