A double whammy of seasonal flu and coronavirus is coming – What do experts fear?

A double whammy of seasonal flu and coronavirus is coming – What do experts fear?
A double whammy of seasonal flu and coronavirus is coming – What do experts fear?

As if the Omicron variant was not enough, which was the cause of a large part of the population falling ill in the summer, and the seasonal flu has been making its presence felt in our country in recent months.

Experts warn that there may be a new flu wave earlier in Greece, at a time when an outbreak of the coronavirus is expected.

“It seems that we will have a flu wave earlier this year in Greece, as while in previous years it appeared in our country around December, this year it is possible that it will concern us from October”, he said, speaking to in the pathologist – infectious disease specialist and director of the Pathology – Infectious Disease Clinic at the Athens Medical Center, Panagiotis Gargalianos.

He pointed out that even in the summer there were sporadic flu waves in our country, mainly on the islands, due to the tourist traffic.

The flu has woken up from hibernation

Most experts had warned that the infectious disease would “wake up from the hibernation” of recent years mainly for two reasons: Due to increased tourist traffic and also due to the weakening of immunity against the virus.

The verification also came today from the National Health Organization, which, in addition to reporting signs of increased spread in our country, emphasized that the Southern Hemisphere has recorded an early onset of a pandemic wave of influenza for this year.

Read also: Psaltopoulou: Annual vaccinations for the coronavirus may or may not be necessary

Unvaccinated against flu – Unprotected against variants

“Where our concerns are focused is that in the event that a wave of seasonal flu arrives earlier in our country, citizens who have not been vaccinated will be exposed to the virus”, said Mr. Gargialianos saying characteristically that “of course we expect the coexistence of flu with Covid-19.

Since last year the flu vaccination started in the first days of October, there is indeed a period of one month where citizens who decided not to be vaccinated in previous years due to the corona virus, remain unprotected.

Experts on the alert – The mask is the best means of protection

However according to his information in, the experts of the National Immunization Committee remain reassuring, stating that the possibility of starting flu vaccinations earlier this year has not been discussed, nor has it been put on the table. According to sources there may be an outbreak at the moment, however at the moment there are no other criteria leading to such a decision.

“The use of a mask remains an essential tool for protection against both the coronavirus and the seasonal flu,” adds the director of the Pathological-Infectious Clinic, reminding that although the flu and the coronavirus share a common mode of transmission, they have no other a common feature, so someone who contracted the coronavirus can become infected with the flu and vice versa.

In any case, both the EODY and the Ministry of Health remain vigilant, monitoring how the spread of the flu and the coronavirus is developing in our country and stressing that vaccination with the fourth dose, mainly for vulnerable groups, but also the flu vaccination remain the basic weapons against both diseases. In fact, the goal of EODY for the next period will be to raise awareness among the population (and especially vulnerable groups) about the flu vaccination, as it seems that this year’s wave of seasonal flu will be stronger than in previous years.

The article is in Greek

Tags: double whammy seasonal flu coronavirus coming experts fear

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