With COVID-19 cases on the rise, Americans have another thing to worry about in the coming winter months: flu season.
White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci explained that some of the public health measures like wearing a face mask and social distancing may prevent influenza from complicating things even further.
“Truly a transforming pandemic of historic nature, and we’re not through with it yet,” Fauci warned, per CNBC.
With both COVID and the flu occurring at the same time and exhibiting similar symptoms, the CDC warned that the nation will soon face a “diagnostic challenge.”
Symptoms in both diseases include fever, coughing, shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue, runny or stuffy nose, headaches, muscle pains and/or body aches, and oftentimes vomiting and diarrhea,
“There’s considerable concern as we enter the fall and the winter months and into the flu season that we’ll have that dreaded overlap of two respiratory diseases, namely influenza and Covid-19,” Fauci explained.
During a briefing on Wednesday, Fauci explained that the flu, which typically peaks between December and February, can kill between 12,000 and 61,000 people and hospitalize up to 810,000 people every year.
That’s in addition to the coronavirus at more than 7 million cases and 205,000 deaths as of Wednesday.
Steps to prevent both diseases “overlap greatly,” Fauci explained.
"We don't want these two diseases together," he added.
Prevention measures include things we’ve all been doing since March like wearing face coverings, avoiding crowds, frequent hand washing, and disinfecting surfaces.
He also stressed the importance of vaccinations citing a CDC study published in mid-September that found the flu season in the Southern Hemisphere was much lighter than in previous years.
Fauci believes America could “have the same thing” if people vaccinated while taking proper precautions.
Researchers echoed these sentiments explaining that both measures to curb the spread of COVID and a flu vaccine “could substantially reduce influenza incidence and impact,”
“Get yourself and your family vaccinated,” Fauci explained. “I was vaccinated two days ago. I feel great, I’m glad I did it. Hopefully it will protect me and my family.”
Many doctors are urging people to get the flu shot to avoid what’s being called a “twindemic.”
In a previous chat with Jennifer Garner, Fauci said the best time to get a flu shot was "towards the middle and end of October."
Here is more information on the flu vaccine and where to get one: https://fightflutogether.org