Health experts are starting to warn people about the upcoming flu season, and how a coronavirus and flu “twin-demic” that could cause significant problems for an already taxed healthcare system. There’s a real possibility that some Americans could catch both the flu and the coronavirus at the same time.

So what happens if you get sick with both? Dr. Adrian Burrowes, a family medicine physician in Florida, told CNN, “You can certainly get both the flu and Covid-19 at the same time, which could be catastrophic to your immune system.” Epidemiologist and director of the Stanford Health Communication Initiative Dr. Seema Yasmin told the news outlet, “Once you get infected with the flu and some other respiratory viruses, it weakens your body. Your defenses go down, and it makes you vulnerable to getting a second infection on top of that.”

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published information on the differences between the coronavirus and the flu. Flu and coronavirus share many symptoms, including cough, fever, sore throat running nose, and body aches.

Because coronavirus only began its spread at the tail end of flu season, there’s limited data on people who have both illnesses at the same time. Dr. Michael Matthay, a professor of medicine and a critical care specialist at the University of California, San Francisco believes that having both viruses at the same time would be harmful to the heart, lungs, and muscle tissue. The two (viruses) together definitely could be more injurious to the lungs and cause more respiratory failure,” he said.

You can help prevent the possibility of getting both viruses by practicing social distancing, wearing a mask, and getting a flu vaccine ahead of flu season, according to experts. The CDC has also created a test that will check for both viruses.

Read more about protecting yourself from coronavirus. Check the CDC website for more information on how to protect yourself and check our latest article to learn how COVID-19 differs from the flu.

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