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Three Americans confirmed influenza and COVID-19 at the same time: how often does this happen

A California resident was diagnosed with both influenza and COVID-19. The patient has tested positive for both influenza and coronavirus, according to the Solano County Department of Health. How is this possible and how often it happens? NBC News.

Photo: Shutterstock

Double contamination is still rare and is the first such case reported in the district, but not in the country. At least two other such cases have been reported in Texas and Northern California.

Experts warned that if the number of COVID-19 cases remains high by the start of the flu season, the US could face tweendemia, with both viruses simultaneously circulating at high levels in society.

This phenomenon can be very dangerous due to the overload in the healthcare system, and it will be extremely difficult to cope with the influx of patients with COVID-19 and the flu.

Two epidemics at the same time are dangerous not only with the risk of catching both diseases at the same time, it is also a double blow to the immune system.

“This winter, there is a high likelihood of contracting both COVID-19 and seasonal flu. Infection with any of these viruses can weaken the immune system and make a person more susceptible to another virus, ”said Dr. Bela Matias, physician for Solano County.

There is little information available at this time about a dual illness patient from Solano County. It is only known that she is under 65 years old.

On the subject: COVID-19, flu or cold: how to recognize the disease by the first symptoms

Previously, it was known about a doctor from Texas who contracted both viruses at the same time, this happened in March. A study published in April in the Journal of the American Medical Association also noted a case of co-infection with influenza and coronavirus in Northern California.

It is not clear how common double contamination is.

“We really hope this won't be the norm,” says Dr. Tara Bouton, assistant professor of medicine at Boston University's School of Medicine.

Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, professor of medicine and infectious disease specialist at the University of California, San Francisco, predicted that it would only be a matter of time before such cases would appear.

“How widespread this is will depend on what the flu season looks like,” Chin-Hong said. "There is nothing that could prevent double contamination."

On the subject: The flu season is already beginning: why it is important to get vaccinated in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic

It is also not yet clear if the disease will be worse in patients with influenza and COVID-19 at the same time, Bouton said.

“However, there are several preliminary studies that suggest that this is indeed the case,” she added.

“This is another reason why people need to do everything possible to prevent this scenario, including getting the flu vaccine, wearing a mask,” the doctor said.

Matthias, a Solano County health officer, offered similar advice.

“Getting the flu vaccine is more important this year than ever, and getting the flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself, your family and the community from a serious illness,” she said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, influenza activity in the US remains low at the moment, although it is only the beginning of the season. At the same time, the activity of COVID-19 remains high.

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