Doctors worried about twindemic; encourage flu vaccination

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) — Physicians are worried about a twindemic scenario as flu season begins during the COVID-19 pandemic. Medical experts worry the combination of flu and coronavirus patients could overburden medical infrastructure. To prevent this worst-case scenario, doctors want you to get this year’s flu shot.

According to Dr. Dat Ta, a physician with Bon Secour’s AFC Urgent Care, both influenza and coronavirus patients can present virtually identical symptoms: fever, headaches, bodyache, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath, sometimes diarrhea, sometimes vomiting.

“It is difficult for us as healthcare providers to distinguish the difference between them, extremely difficult without testing,” Ta said.

Ta says that getting the flu shot can have a whole host of benefits: reduced risk of flu-related illness, less severe illness if influenza is contracted and fewer overall hospitalizations and deaths from the illness. Additionally, he says, the vaccine could help COVID-19 patients in the hospital.

“If everybody gets the flu shot, the chance of you getting the flu are very minimal,” Ta said. “So, we can say, β€˜hey, it’s unlikely to be the flu,’ and then focus on the higher-transmittable problem, which is COVID.”

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