RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Pia MacDonald, Ph.D., an infectious disease epidemiologist at RTI International, a nonprofit research institute, is available for media interviews on the early increase of seasonal influenza (flu) cases and what public health measures, such as promotion of flu shots, need to be prioritized. The early increase in flu cases is occurring amid the continued spread of COVID variants, such as the highly contagious XXB, and the spike of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases among infants and children.
Dr. MacDonald can discuss the importance of applying evidence-based public health practices and approaches to combat the spread of infectious diseases. As states continue to promote flu shots, it is important to note that cases are dramatically rising across the country and public health measures need to continue to be implemented. Preventing seasonal influenza will help mitigate further strain on a health care system already overburdened by the pandemic and will help people to distinguish COVID-19 symptoms from flu symptoms.
In her current role at RTI, Dr. MacDonald works on emerging infectious diseases and strengthening capacity to prevent, detect and respond to disease outbreaks domestically and globally. She served as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer within the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and has led projects funded by the CDC, NIH and the North Carolina Division of Public Health.
Dr. MacDonald has more than 25 years of experience in domestic and international epidemiological research and public health similar to the current flu and RSV outbreak. She has an extensive background in infectious disease epidemiology and surveillance, global health security, public health preparedness and outbreak investigation and response. Dr. MacDonald can provide insights into how public health officials and communities can investigate and address infectious disease outbreaks of the flu and RSV as well as Ebola and polio and what can be learned from preventing, tracing and addressing COVID-19.
To set up an interview with Dr. MacDonald for comments on these infectious disease outbreaks, please contact RTI Media Relations.