PAHO/WHO warns of COVID-19 and influenza “co-infection”

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    It is possible to have the flu and COVID-19 at the same time, and persons are being urged to protect themselves from this scenario.

    PAHO/WHO Representative, Dr. Erica Wheeler, warns that dual infections could severely compromise a person’s respiratory system.

    As such, she says persons should get their flu shot: “It actually would make the situation of anyone having COVID-19 worse if they were to both have the flu as well as COVID-19. It weakens the lungs and it will make it easier for the virus, COVID-19, to affect your lungs more seriously. So, it is a protective factor to get the flu vaccine.”

    This advice was repeated by Advisor for Disease Surveillance and Epidemiology at PAHO/WHO, Dr. Eldonna Boisson, who addressed concerns about the safety of the vaccine, assuring that it provides effective protection against influenza.

    According to PAHO, between October 2019 and May 2020, there were 40 flu-related deaths in Trinidad and Tobago.