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Doctor’s warn of winter ‘TWINDEMIC’ with influenza cases set to spiral as Covid continues to spread

Doctors issue grim warning of a winter ‘TWINDEMIC’ with influenza cases set to spiral as Covid continues to spread

  • Doctors fear Influenza numbers will rise dramatically leading into winter 
  • Flu cases have been virtually dormant in Australia due to Covid measures
  • It is now possible to get vaccinated for the flu and coronavirus at the same time 

Doctors are predicting a ‘twindemic’ this winter, with influenza cases set to rise as Covid-19 continues to spread.

The worrying development has medical experts urging Australians to roll up their sleeves for both the flu shot and the Covid booster.

Previously, it was recommended the doses be separated by a minimum of 14 days. But it’s now possible to be administered both vaccines at the same time. 

Doctors are predicting a ‘twindemic’ this winter, with influenza cases set to rise as Covid-19 continues to spread. Pictured: A Covid patient at Footscray Hospital in Melbourne

The worrying development has medical experts urging Australians to roll up their sleeves for both the flu shot and the Covid booster (pictured, a woman wearing a face mask in Sydney)

The worrying development has medical experts urging Australians to roll up their sleeves for both the flu shot and the Covid booster (pictured, a woman wearing a face mask in Sydney)

‘Over the Covid-19 period there has been lower exposure to the influenza virus and lower levels of influenza vaccine coverage compared to previous years,’ the Australia’s Department of Health said.

‘With borders reopening, a possible resurgence of influenza may occur in 2022.’

Health experts say the best time to get an annual flu jab is by the end of April, before the temperature starts to cool down.

Over the past two years Covid-19 measures including lockdowns, social distancing and face masks has seen the spread of influenza dramatically reduced. 

While Australia did not record a single flu-related death in 2021, it’s now feared cases could explode in June and beyond as life gets back to normal.

Previously, it was recommended the doses be separated by a minimum of 14 days. But it's now possible to be administered both vaccines at the same time (pictured, a woman getting a Covid jab in Sydney)

Previously, it was recommended the doses be separated by a minimum of 14 days. But it’s now possible to be administered both vaccines at the same time (pictured, a woman getting a Covid jab in Sydney)

Last month the Federal Government confirmed it has set aside $2.1billion to extend the current Covid-19 vaccination rollout and subsidised a rapid antigen test scheme until July 31.

At the announcement, deputy chief medical officer Sonya Bennett said researchers were attempting to create a tool to test for both Covid and the flu simultaneously.

It remains to be seen if a person can be infected with Covid and the flu at the same time – although rare undocumented cases across the globe indicate it is possible.

However many point to viral interference, where natural immune defences make it less likely a person will then be infected with another virus.

Over the past two years Covid-19 measures including lockdowns, social distancing and face masks has seen the spread of influenza dramatically reduced (pictured, health care workers administer Covid testing in Perth)

Over the past two years Covid-19 measures including lockdowns, social distancing and face masks has seen the spread of influenza dramatically reduced (pictured, health care workers administer Covid testing in Perth)

‘My gut feeling, and my feeling based on our recent research, is that viral interference is real,’ said Dr Ellen Foxman, an immunologist at the Yale School of Medicine, said.

‘I don’t think we’re going to see the flu and the coronavirus peak at the same time.’

Vaccinations for flu strains cost around $25 at most pharmacies or GPs and are readily available.

There were 45,476 Covid cases reported across Australia in the past 24 hours, and a further 63 deaths. 

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk