Since the beginning of the year, the coronavirus pandemic has been the number one cause of concern in nearly all of the countries around the world. At the moment, the number of infections has crossed twenty-five million and the death toll remains very high. Now, scientists are expecting the health crisis to worsen further with the emergence of new challenges very soon due to the start of the year’s flu season.
In the past six months, the overwhelming number of cases of the coronavirus has exposed the flaws of the current health care system. While it is good for preparing for and dealing with any future pathogen outbreaks and epidemics, the system cannot manage to deal with additional health problems currently.
However, flu, which kills thousands of Americans each year and results in hundreds of hospitalizations, is likely to be a major cause of concern. In fact, this season may be more difficult to handle and may cause a higher number of deaths than before as healthcare facilities are now more limited comparatively.
Some hospitals in the US have even stopped performing medical procedures which were also previously delayed during the peak of coronavirus in the lockdown in order to prepare for and accommodate people with flu and associated complications.
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Along with the rise in the number of people with flu, there is also another concern. Some hospitals in different parts of the country as well as the world are reporting cases of people with ‘co-infections’ or people who are diagnosed with both the coronavirus infection and flu.
According to the former chief wellness officer of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, Dr. Michael Roizen, there is no evidence to yet show that both of the infections and the viruses impact one another but there is enough research to establish that a person who contracts both is likely to experience a lot of complications.
While some researchers have suggested future investigation to examine whether getting one of the infections can raise the risk of developing the other, others have highlighted the bigger need to see the possible health outcomes of getting both of the infections at the same time.
Most agree that having both the coronavirus infection and flu can increase the risk of developing previously known complications and raise the chances of death as well.
Out of all the people, groups that were also previously deemed to have a far higher risk of severe coronavirus infection and death are also said to have more chances of getting both the aforementioned infections.
Therefore, health experts are urging people, specifically those from vulnerable groups, to get a flu shot this year as the risk of complications and higher mortality rates is higher given the current condition of the pandemic.
Getting a vaccination for flu will not only protect from the coronavirus but can also help in the issue of lack of resources and accommodation as well as the prevention of further strain on the health care system.