What Is a "Twindemic" and Why Should You Be Concerned?

The flu season is approaching, and like every year, public health officials are busy getting ready to deal with it. However, according to the experts, this flu season can be more severe than the last couple of seasons.

According to the experts, we might witness what is being called a “Twindemic,” where an unusually severe flu season meets increased COVID cases. While the possibility of a twindemic is real, the jury is still out on whether it will happen this year.

Public health officials are concerned that the rise in COVID-19 cases combined with the flu season can tax the medical system. More people might require a 24-hour emergency room.

The good news is that we are prepared at Memorial Heights Emergency Center to handle this extra burden in Houston, TX.

What’s The Evidence Pointing To An Impending Twindemic?

There are a couple of theories that scientists are using to predict the twindemic during this flu season.

Firstly, there is the case of an exceptionally mild flu season in 2020-21. According to the CDC, the flu season of 2020-21 had an influenza positivity rate of less than 0.2% compared to the previous two seasons, averaging about 28.25%. The low positivity rate might be attributed to the stringent COVID measures taken when the pandemic was at its peak.

Some scientists are concerned that we might see a decline in immunity against the influenza virus due to the exceptionally milder flu season, especially among the young population. It means that much of the population might be more susceptible to severe infections needing urgent flu treatments in an ER near them.

An indicator of a severe flu season is an increased infection rate in young children in the US this year. As children play and mingle with each other, they can carry the virus home, spreading the infection. Although most cases are mild, the high transmission rate might be worrisome for older people in the US, including those living in Houston, TX.

The overlap of the flu symptoms vs. COVID-19 might also mean that more people will be rushed into the ER on suspicion of the latter. If that happens, we are prepared to handle it at the Memorial Heights Emergency Center.

Can The Twindemic Be Avoided?

With declining COVID numbers in the summer and a few years of milder flu seasons, people are expected to head into the holiday season with their guards down. The more people travel and gather in concerts and religious services, the more opportunity the influenza virus has to spread.

While vaccination is still our best bet to avert the twindemic, what we learned during the COVID pandemic can also come in handy. Social distancing and wearing masks if you are sick can greatly help. Staying vigilant and protecting the most vulnerable of the population can help us keep the twindemic away.

Visit Memorial Heights Emergency Center to learn more about COVID treatments near you and flu causes, complications, and treatments.

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