The public health officials are nervous at the confluence of coronavirus pandemic and seasonal flu in this fall and winter. There can be cases of the simultaneous surging of both the respiratory viruses, called as the ‘Twindemic’ and might lead to overwhelming hospitals which will strain the resources and time of the health care workers.
Keeping this in view, the infectious-disease doctors are urging people to a flu vaccine which will reduce the risk of contracting the influenza virus. But it is also worrisome that the symptoms of both the diseases are very much same, which includes fever, cough, chills and shortness of breath.
One distinguishing feature of COVID-19 though is that there is a loss of smell and taste. But again, not everyone experiences that symptom. Also, in the standard flu due to stuffy nose, one might not be able to smell. For proper diagnosis, a nasal swab test will be required.
The Director of the division of Infectious Diseases at George Washington University, Gary Simon, said that this is going to be a challenging year for all the doctors. They will have patients that could have either one of the diseases and will need a lab test to distinguish between them.