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  • -The potential winter surge of coronavirus infections could coincide with another major public health event -- the seasonal flu.

  • Both respiratory viruses, sometimes called a "twindemic,"

  • could overwhelm hospitals and strain resources across the nation.

  • Here's what you need to know.

  • COVID-19 and influenza spread mainly by droplets made when a sick person coughs, sneezes, or talks.

  • Many of their symptoms overlap, causing infectious disease experts to warn that most people won't be able to tell which illness they have.

  • Some common symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and muscle pain and body aches.

  • It's important to note that not everyone will experience all of these symptoms, and in some of cases, patients with coronavirus could be asymptomatic.

  • One major symptom difference with COVID-19 is the sudden loss of taste and smell.

  • -Primarily because with influenza, you have a general sense of loss of, perhaps, smell from having a clogged nose.

  • And we're sort of used to that because we've had that many times in our lives when we've had colds and we've had other upper respiratory infections.

  • So when we eat and we smell, we acknowledge the difference a little bit in the sense of smell and taste.

  • But with COVID, it's so striking that, you know,

  • you just smell things not at all or it's a different smell.

  • -People infected with the novel coronavirus can be contagious for about twice as long as those with the flu.

  • Those with coronavirus will usually experience symptoms beginning five to seven days after exposure.

  • Whereas flu patients develop symptoms within one to four days.

  • Coronavirus is also about 10 times more lethal than the flu.

  • The flu typically causes between 12,000 and 61,000 annual deaths according to the CDC.

  • In just over seven months, more than 210,000 Americans have died of COVID-19.

  • The best way to protect from both COVID-19 and the flu is to maintain a safe distance from other people, wash your hands frequently, and stay home when you're sick.

  • And, of course, getting your flu shot is the best way to protect yourself from the flu.

  • While it doesn't double as protection against COVID-19, it's critical to preventing a double epidemic.

  • -I would say this year is so important, more than ever, really, since we've got the twin pandemic.

  • The vaccination for the flu, it's been around, it's been refined.

  • So I would advocate for that. At least with the twin pandemic, at least we can manage that a little bit better, where COVID, we still don't have the vaccination and still just doing symptomatic treatments.

  • And also to Americans and our community, please be patient.

  • We will get through this.

  • We will get through this together.

-The potential winter surge of coronavirus infections could coincide with another major public health event -- the seasonal flu.

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B2 US flu smell covid influenza respiratory twin

What you need to know about coronavirus and the flu

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    Miho Ishii posted on 2020/11/26
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