'Twindemic:' When COVID-19 And Influenza Converge

Oct 19, 2020

As flu season arrives on the U.S. west coast, health officials fear a possible ‘twindemic’ in 2020.

Dr. Paul Cieslak, with Oregon Health Authority, urges everyone over 6 months old to get a flu shot to prevent contracting Influenza during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Credit Oregon Health Authority, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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.

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