General Question

Strauss's avatar

Will there be a "twindemic" this flu season?

Asked by Strauss (22353points) September 23rd, 2020

Various news outlets (NBC, New York Times, Boston Globe, USA Today, for starters) have been reporting the possibility of a serious outbreak of seasonal flu in the midst of the current COVID pandemic, coming up with the mashup word “twindemic”.

Is this fear mongering, or is there a real danger?

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16 Answers

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

On one hand, there’s always a flu season.

On the other hand, a lot of people have adopted a germophobic lifestyle.

But if that were thorough enough, we wouldn’t have 5-digit numbers of new Covid cases in the US every day.

janbb's avatar

Make sure to get a flu shot. That will help.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

The tests will be for Flu and COVID-19 in that order.

JLeslie's avatar

Every reason to believe we will have a very low caseload of flu.

Combined with cases of covid though it will all add up and create some strain on the health system.

stanleybmanly's avatar

“hope for the best, expect the worst”

Strauss's avatar

I’ll admit I posted the q as a knee-jerk after seeing the headlines. It seems that the social distancing and masking due to the COVID pandemic will have a suppressive effect on the other seasonal flus.

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LogicHead's avatar

Logic would suggest the opposite !!! For those who succumb to Covid are people who won’t succumb to normal flu. I expect flu deaths to be much less. This is just logic and logic doesn’t cover all the data.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That is not logical @LogicHead. They’re two separate viruses. Covid 19 won’t make flu antibodies and vice versa. If they did getting a flu shot would protect you from C19. It doesn’t.

LostInParadise's avatar

In the latest edition of Scientific American magazine, it says that the Southern Hemisphere experience a record low number of flu cases. The speculation is that the social distancing and mask wearing measures taken for covid 19 also worked against the flu.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Yesterday there were 100,000 new infections for the day. Unless covid itself is some type of antidote against other infections, then I expect the flu season will induce its usual consequences we expect in Winter.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

@stanleybmanly Covid-19 is much more contagious than the flu. There is no immunity or vaccine, and it’s been going strong for 8 months in the US despite drastic measures like lockdowns and masks.

We’ve never had a flu season remotely like that (1918 excepted). That and the southern hemisphere results make me think our Covid precautions will tamp down the flu.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t fully accept the “No immunity” story. I think it was a slow news day when that came out.

Also, I wouldn’t call wearing a mask “drastic measures.” There has been no lock down here to speak of. Just strong suggestions to stay home.
Now, Australia has drastic measures that includes stiff fines and jail time.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

I am saying there was no immunity when this started.

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