CORONAVIRUS

Seasonal flu expected to collide with COVID-19 in ‘twindemic’

Aug 30, 2021, 5:19 PM | Updated: 9:35 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — The seasonal flu this fall will likely arrive on top of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Doctors and medical experts in Utah said they were concerned that a “twindemic” could further stress our hospitals and health care systems.

If we don’t fight off the flu as vigorously as COVID-19, our health care systems and caregivers could be further stressed.

“Flu puts a lot of people in the hospital every year. With COVID-19 surging, still in our community, we really can’t afford to add influenza hospitalizations on top of that,” said Stephen Goldstein, Ph.D., a post-doctoral researcher and evolutionary virologist at the University of Utah School of Medicine.

Goldstein pointed out that this year, most public health restrictions have been lifted, mask use is uneven and many people are resuming what looks like normal life.

People are not as cautious about respiratory infections as they were last year early in the COVID-19 pandemic. So other respiratory illnesses are coming back, and they expect the flu will, too.

“There’s a real risk that if COVID-19 infections spike in the late fall and winter, that that’s going to happen at the same time as resurgence of influenza,” Goldstein said. “That would be bad for our health care systems.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu was at record-low levels last winter.

“What that tells us is that the same measures that we used to try to tamp down the COVID-19 pandemic also have an affect on seasonal flu, which spreads in very similar ways,” the researcher said.

RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, a serious illness for kids, is also back.

It normally surges in January and February, so it is very unusual that it is transmitting in our communities during the summer.

“We’re having a huge number of cases of RSV right now that’s putting kids in the hospital as well, increasing the burden on the pediatric health care system,” said Goldstein.

Doctors recommend vaccination against COVID-19 and the seasonal flu to protect yourself, others around you and the community as a whole.

“Those two things are what can really help you stay out of the hospital if you do get sick this winter,” said Goldstein.

Officials with the Utah Department of Health said the flu vaccine has started to arrive.

In the weeks ahead, they recommend making a plan to get that flu shot where you normally get it.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Coronavirus

Representative Tricia Derges (Credit: Missouri House of Representatives)...
Associated Press

Missouri lawmaker resigns from House after fraud conviction for selling Covid treatments

A Missouri GOP legislator has resigned after being convicted of falsely claiming she was giving patients stem cell treatments for COVID-19.
2 days ago
FILE PHOTO (Photo by Jacob King - WPA Pool/Getty Images)...
MIKE STOBBE, AP Medical Writer

Moderna COVID-19 shots now an option for older kids in US

There is now a second COVID-19 option for kids ages 6 to 17 in the U.S.
11 days ago
Pfizer says it's COVID-19 vaccine is 100% effective in kids 12 to 15. (Justin Tallis-Pool/Getty Ima...
Jen Christensen, CNN

What are the COVID-19 vaccine side effects in young kids? Experts seek to ease parents’ concerns

Experts look at what side effects to expect from the COVID vaccine for children six months and older.
13 days ago
The Nurse Crisis and Patent Risk....
Debbie Worthen

Utah registered nurses are leaving the field, creating the ‘perfect storm’

"Without nurses, we can't have hospitals." Utah nurses are overworked and underpaid. Some say it's put people at risk.
14 days ago
Four-year-old Viola Fairfax-Panza Getting her COVID-19 vaccination, held by her mother Keke Fairfax...
Jed Boal

Salt Lake Co. distributes COVID vaccines for children 6-months and older

Salt Lake County begins COVID-19 vaccinations for children 6 months and older.
14 days ago
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about Covid-19 vaccines for children, in the Roosevelt Room of the ...
ZEKE MILLER and JOSH BOAK, Associated Press

Biden visits clinic, celebrates COVID shots for kids under 5

President Joe Biden is celebrating that virtually all Americans can now get a COVID-19 shot after the authorization of vaccines for kids under 5 over the weekend.
14 days ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Seasonal flu expected to collide with COVID-19 in ‘twindemic’