What Is a “Twindemic” and Why Should You Be Concerned?
A “twindemic” is a word used to describe the spread of the flu and the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19 at the same time. As we have seen, COVID-19 spreads easily. So far, it has been responsible for millions of infections and hundreds of thousands of deaths in the U.S. and around the world.
During the 2019-2020 U.S. flu season, it is estimated that 38 million people got the flu and 22,000 died. Flu season starts in October and can last until May.
The flu and COVID-19 are both respiratory illnesses. And, yes, you can get them both – even at the same time. Both are serious illnesses, so as they spread, the results could be devastating.
Infections like the flu are a major cause of asthma episodes. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people with asthma are at higher risk for developing serious complications from the flu like pneumonia. Getting your flu shot and following the steps below are the best ways to protect yourself and your loved ones.
What Can You Do to Reduce the Spread of the Flu and the New Coronavirus?
There is good news in all of this. We do have a vaccine for the flu for everyone 6 months and older. And all you’re doing to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus works for the flu too:
- Wear a mask or cloth face covering.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces often.
- Stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) away from other people.
- Follow the CDC’s and your community’s guidance on gatherings and avoid large gatherings.
- Limit trips to public places and choose contactless delivery or pickup as much as possible.
- Avoid unnecessary travel.
- Recognize the different symptoms of COVID-19, the flu, a cold, asthma and allergies.
Even though we don’t have a vaccine for COVID-19 yet, the flu vaccine is still a critical part of protecting each other during this pandemic. By getting the flu shot, you can reduce the chance of spreading the flu to the senior adults, people with other high-risk health conditions, health care workers, other essential workers, teachers and your own family. The vaccine can also reduce the length of time you are sick and lessen complications. And if we can lessen the spread of the flu, our communities will be healthier overall and better equipped to make it through this pandemic and the flu season.
Our staff at AAFA has been getting our flu shots to do our part. We invite you to join us in our fight against the flu and COVID-19.
Share your flu shot selfie! When you get the flu shot, snap a selfie and post it in the comments below.