Chief of CDC’s ‘weather service’ strives to help local health agencies use infectious disease forecasting

Thursday, June 8, 2023 - 13:41 in Health & Medicine

In August 2021, amid criticism for bungling its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched an ambitious effort to prevent a similarly poor performance going forward. The Center for Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics (CFA) is intended to become the nation’s pandemic “weather service.” It aims to forecast the location, scale, and severity of infectious disease outbreaks in enough detail to help local officials advise on practical issues like whether nursing homes should allow visitors or a school district should require masking. CDC’s 12th center is also a response to widespread criticism that the agency failed in one of its most basic functions: public communication. Confusing or controversial pandemic guidelines on school openings , ...

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