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Twindemic Escape

 

Last updated 12/31/2020 at 12:45am



We have been concerned that a Twindemic – the co-occurrence of seasonal flu and COVID-19 – may happen this winter season.

We are well into the normal flu season and, so far, the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths from flu in Southern California has been much lower than expected and much lower than in recent years.

Influenza (flu) infection rates from October to early December have been “minimal” in California and infections have been “sporadic.” During most of the weeks of October, November and the first week of December rates of flu in California have been only 60% of the expected level. There have been no outbreaks of flu, only one death attributed to flu and less than one-tenth of one percent of hospitalizations have been due to flu in California.

The team of physicians and epidemiologists in the CDC who track seasonal flu speculate the following reasons may explain the relatively low rates so far this season: introduced to the U.S. than normal by travelers from the southern hemisphere, which has its peak flu season during our summer. Restrictions due to COVID-19 also held down rates of flu in many of those countries and the significant reduction in international travel apparently held down introduction to the U.S.

Restrictions due to COVID-19 in this country, in California specifically, as well as reduced travel from other states to California and vice versa appears to have held down rates of flu.

More doses of flu vaccine were distributed this season than ever before. It is not (yet) known how many flu vaccinations were given in Southern California, but if it parallels the nationwide number of doses distributed, it was more than normally given.

In summary, there has been no evidence to date that a twindemic has been happening. And, CDC experts are becoming increasingly confident a twindemic is not going to happen during the remainder of this flu season.

Borrego Springs COVID-19 Task Force

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