ATLANTA — The low number of flu cases this season has been something of a medical blessing. Doctors once feared that we could be facing a “Twindemic” this year. This refers to the simultaneous presence of both COVID-19 and influenza infecting many at the same time.
“We should consider ourselves fortunate and count our blessings in that. Doesn’t mean we should let our guard down. There is some flu still out there,” said Dr. Robert Jansen with Grady Health System.
The two viruses spreading at the same time could have been really dangerous. This would have only become more serious with the appearance of the new COVID-19 strains. The flu is also known to mutate, which makes each season hard to predict its severity.
Health care officials agree that some of our COVID-19 precautions have helped with minimizing the effects of the flu this season. Practicing social distancing, wearing masks and diligent handwashing have directly affected the flu’s inability to spread.
“We’ve proven that works for COVID, and we’ve proven it works for influenza. We’ve known that forever. It’s just that people have been reluctant to do those things to prevent the flu,” Jansen said.
People following the recommendations of health care professionals have aided in not overwhelming hospitals. It stopped hospitals from being full of flu patients as COVID-19 cases surged this winter.
“Protect yourselves. If you do it for COVID, you’re doing it for flu, so it’s double benefit,” Jansen said.
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