What Is a “Twindemic” and Why Should You Be Concerned?
A “twindemic” is a word used to describe a situation where two pandemics happen at the same time. In this case, the twindemic would be widespread flu infections and COVID-19 infections caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. As we have seen, the coronavirus spreads easily. So far, it has been responsible for millions of infections and deaths in the U.S. and around the world.
Flu season starts in the fall and lasts through the spring. COVID-19 has been spreading since December 2019 and hasn’t stopped.
You can get COVID-19 and the flu at the same time. Both are serious illnesses, so as they spread, the results can be devastating.
Respiratory 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 Coronavirus?
There is good news in all of this. We do have a vaccine for the flu for everyone 6 months and older. And we have COVID-19 vaccines for everyone 5 years and older. Follow these steps to reduce the spread of both the flu and the coronavirus:
- Get the flu and COVID-19 vaccines. You can get these vaccines at the same time!
- Wear a mask.
- Keep a physical distance from people outside your household.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Make sure your indoor spaces are well-ventilated.
- Avoid unnecessary travel.
- Make sure your asthma is well-controlled.
The COVID-19 and flu vaccines are a critical part of protecting each other as these illnesses spread. By getting the vaccines, you can reduce the chance of spreading these illnesses to senior adults, people with other high-risk health conditions, health care workers, other essential workers, teachers, and your own family. The vaccines may also reduce how severe your illness is and lessen complications if you do get sick. And if we can slow down the spread of the flu and the coronavirus, 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 vaccines to do our part. We invite you to join us in our fight against the flu and COVID-19.
Medical Review: December 2021 by Mitchell Grayson, MD
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