The United States has been the “most severely hit” country by coronoviruses, with more than 7 million covid-19 cases and 205,000 deaths on Wednesday, with Fauci informing about the importance of influenza and pneumococcal disease prevention during the epidemic.
“There is a changing epidemic of historical nature, and we are not yet with it,” said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Health officials will soon face a “clinical challenge” as the coronovirus overlaps with the Northern Hemisphere flu season, which the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention says peaks typically occur between December and February. Occur because the symptoms of both diseases are very similar, he warned.
Those shared symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue, runny or stuffy nose, headache, muscle aches or body aches and possible vomiting and diarrhea.
“There is considerable concern that we enter the fall and winter months and during the flu season we will be affected by two respiratory diseases, which are influenza and Kovid-19,” he said.
Fauci said the flu in the US can kill 12,000 to 61,000 people and recruit 810,000 people in the US each year.
Meanwhile, the medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, Dr. William Scheffner said that only 59% of people plan to get vaccinated against the flu this season, a recent study shows. Last year, less than half of American adults were vaccinated against the disease.
Good news: Steps to prevent the spread of coronovirus are also effective in preventing the spread of the flu, such as covering the face, avoiding congestion, frequent hand washing, and disinfecting surfaces.
“The move to fight the flu and the Kovid-19 overlap a lot,” Fauci said on Thursday. “We don’t want those two diseases together.”
A CDC study published in mid-September found that the flu season in the Southern Hemisphere between April and July was much higher than in previous years. Data from Australia, Chile and South Africa found that only 0.06% of the more than 83,000 collected samples returned positive, down from a rate of about 14% in previous years.
“They had a very mild flu season,” Fauci said, adding that if people are vaccinated and practice public health measures, the US might say “the same thing”.
The study also found that the flu declined rapidly within two weeks earlier this year when several states closed schools and encouraged social disturbances and wearing masks. However, the researchers said in the study that some of the decline could be because people stopped demanding regular health services.
Researchers said that the prevalence of Kovid-19, as well as public health measures to curb the flu vaccine, “may significantly reduce the incidence and impact of influenza in the coming season”. The researchers said.
Fauci warned this week that the US is “not in a good place” as the loom of colder months and the number of newly reported coronavirus cases continues beyond 40,000 people each day. He said that the country should target less than 10,000 new cases daily, not around 40,000.
“Get yourself and your family vaccinated,” Fauci said. “I was vaccinated two days ago. I feel great, I’m glad I did it. Hopefully it will protect me and my family.”