22 Sep 2020: Getting COVID-19 and flu together increases risk of death: Experts
UK scientists believe getting both contagious diseases at once drastically increases the chances of death, reports TheGuardian.
Hence, experts have called on people, especially those at higher risks, to get vaccinated in the upcoming days or months.
Numbers: Flu kills thousands every year; this years matters could worsen
In the UK alone, somewhere around 4,000 and 22,000 people die of flu every year. With coronavirus coming into the picture, the threat has multiplied.
Professor Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director of Public Health England told the daily, that the last thing one would want is to get flu this year.
And just in case someone does get infected, they shouldn't lose sight of self-isolation.
Fact: You are in serious trouble if you get both: Expert
Doyle added, "If you get both, you are in some serious trouble, and the people who are most likely to get both of these infections may be the very people who can least afford to in terms of their own immune system."
Symptoms: But how can one differentiate flu from coronavirus?
The broad symptoms of both flu and coronavirus are similar — the infected person has a fever, cough, faces difficulty breathing, experiences fatigue, sore throat, body aches, and a runny/stuffy nose.
However, a large proportion of those who contract coronavirus lose their sense of taste or smell.
In such a scenario, only a coronavirus test can be relied upon to judge if someone's infected.
Effect: US researchers also said flu and coronavirus are lethal together
Researchers in the US echoed concerns of their UK counterparts when talking about flu and coronavirus together. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said both flu and coronavirus attack lungs, eventually causing respiratory failure in worst-case scenarios.
Dr. Seema Yasmin of the Stanford Health Communication Initiative told CNN that getting infected with respiratory viruses takes a toll on the body's immune system.
Details: Getting infected simultaneously increases chances of respiratory failure
On the probable "double-whammy," Dr. Michael Matthay, a professor of medicine and a critical care specialist at the University of California, San Francisco said if one catches both illnesses together, it "would increase the risk of longer-term effects of any of those organ systems."
Together, they can cause respiratory failure — which essentially means that the lungs can't give enough oxygen into the blood.
Study: An earlier study concurred the fear about co-infection
The arguments of UK scientists are backed by facts, added TheGuardian. In the early phases of the coronavirus pandemic, a study was carried out on 58 people, to understand how these two diseases impact a body.
"43% of those with co-infection died compared with 26.9% of those who tested positive for COVID-19 only," said Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, England's Deputy Chief Medical Officer.
Vaccine: To save oneself, getting vaccinated from flu seems best idea
With a double threat looming, the best way to survive is to get vaccinated from the flu.
The UK government has already purchased 30,000,000 doses to save the general population. The doses will arrive in batches and the first ones to get injected will be those above 65 or those having other medical conditions.
Younger kids will also be given the doses.