Doctors warn of “twindemic” as we enter flu season

U.S. and World

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Flu season is here. And as the Delta variant continues to spread through communities, doctors warn we could face a “twindemic.”

The Centers for Disease Control explained that physical distancing and wearing masks caused the 2020 flu season to be abnormally quiet. However, with loosened guidelines in 2021, the flu and COVID-19 may spread at the same time. 

“While it’s not possible to say with certainty what will happen in the fall and winter, CDC believes it’s likely that flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both be spreading at that time,” the CDC explained in a report. “However, data from the National Respiratory and Enteric Surveillance System (NREVSS) showed an increase in these viruses’ activity during the summer, outside of their usual seasonal increases.”

Health experts continue to push the vaccine as the best way to protect against COVID-19. The same goes for the flu, so how do they interact with each other?

The CDC states it is safe to get both vaccines at the same time, including a booster shot. However, the agency recommends following the standard schedule for both vaccines.

“If you haven’t gotten your currently recommended doses of COVID-19 vaccine, get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can, and ideally get a flu vaccine by the end of October,” the CDC stated.

Doctors also warn that it is possible to have both viruses at the same time. And as the symptoms are almost identical, the best way to know is by getting tested for both.

Flu activity is low in Virginia, according to the CDC. For more information, click here.

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