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    Health experts concerned ‘COVID fatigue’ causing a rise in cases

a young white man wearing glasses and carrying a backpack on a subway train, looking sick or ill and wearing a face mask to limit transfer of germs and infectious diseases

Experts say adherence to public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 appears to be waning in some parts of the country. "COVID fatigue," or failing to comply with masking, hand-hygiene and social-distancing guidelines, has fueled a resurgence in COVID-19 cases in more than half of U.S. states.

Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious diseases expert and head of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group, says he's concerned that "COVID fatigue," combined with the start of flu season and more people spending time indoors during fall and winter months, will continue a surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths.

Watch: Dr. Gregory Poland discusses 'COVID fatigue.'

Journalists: A sound bite with Dr. Poland is in the downloads at the end of this post. Please courtesy "Gregory Poland, M.D. / Vaccine Research Group / Mayo Clinic."

"People are tired of being physically distanced. They want get back to a normal life. 'Ah, well, maybe you don’t have to take that. This is just a problem in people that are 80 and older.' And, of course, that’s misinformation," says Dr. Poland. "But there’s an emotional appeal to hearing information that fits with what your heart wants to do, which is to take off your mask and hug your kids returning from college and everything else. We’re going to have to do everything we can to convince people (that) this is serious business that has to be attended to properly or people will get hurt."

Information in this post was accurate at the time of its posting. Due to the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, scientific understanding, along with guidelines and recommendations, may have changed since the original publication date

For more information and all your COVID-19 coverage, go to the Mayo Clinic News Network and mayoclinic.org.