Triad health officials warn of possible ‘twindemic’ as flu season begins


A looming double threat. 

Health officials say the coronavirus and flu season overlapping are creating fear of a potential “twindemic.” 

“If you were to look at a mild case of COVID-19 versus influenza they probably have a lot of similarities. Especially in the beginning when somebody has symptoms, it’s very difficult to tease out what you have,” said Dr. Cynthia Snider, an infectious disease specialist at Cone Health. 

Dr. Snider says her biggest fear is that people will mistake COVID-19 for the flu. 

A dangerous mistake to make as fall temperatures arrive. 

“It is going to get considerably cooler, and a lot of people are going to be staying indoors where you have more risk of getting a respiratory virus from somebody else,” said Dr. Snider. 

Dr. Snider believes, because the two viruses share common symptoms, your best option is to get tested. 

She’s also confident the protective measures that medical experts are encouraging against COVID-19, should reduce the risk of a “twindemic.”

“There are definitely the doomsdayers, you know like we are all just going to going down this very fiery path, and then there’s some optimism,” said Snider. 

Staying hopeful that all the mask-wearing, hand washing and social distancing will pay off and save lives. 

More than ever before, doctors say it’s important to get a flu shot. Dr. Snider recommends getting the vaccine sooner than later because it takes a few weeks for your body to develop antibodies that provide protection. 

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