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'Twindemic:' When COVID-19 And Influenza Converge

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Oregon Health Authority, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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As flu season arrives on the U.S. west coast, health officials fear a possible ‘twindemic’ in 2020.

Dr. Paul Cieslak is medical director for communicable diseases and immunizations at the Oregon Health Authority.  

“This year in particular, we’re worried about having not one bad respiratory virus- but two,” he said. “So, if we have a bad Influenza season hitting on top of COVID-19, we’re really going to overwhelm our hospitals.”

While the world awaits an effective vaccination for the novel coronavirus, Cieslak says protection against Influenza is ready and available. He encourages a flu shot for everyone over the age of six months old.

A flu vaccine does not protect against COVID-19. But Cieslak  said it’s important to take every possible step to prevent against any viral infection.

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Credit flickr
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Flu shots are available at no cost with most insurance at many pharmacies and with appointment at county public health departments.

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked in a variety of media including television and daily print news. For KLCC, Tiffany reports on health care, social justice and local/regional news. She has won awards from Oregon Associated Press, PRNDI, and Education Writers Association.
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