Authorities are growing increasingly concerned about the upcoming winter season as this is the first year both the flu and coronavirus will be circulating in ‘significant amounts.’ These infectious viruses have been known to be at its peak during the colder months and this time around we don’t have the lockdown restrictions to keep us protected from this potentially catastrophic duo.
Jenny Harries, head of the Health Security Agency, recently spoke to BBC about the uncertain times UK is facing and she said:
It's a more uncertain year but I certainly would be encouraging everybody to go and get their vaccine.
This is probably the first season where we will have significant amounts of Covid circulating as well as flu.
People's behaviours have changed, we are mixing more, winter weather is coming along, everybody is going into enclosed spaces.
She also added that since flu cases were at its lowest last year, the virus may have mutated into more unpredictable strains. This means that people may get deadlier forms of the flu than before, and there is also a high possibility that one can catch both the influenza virus and coronavirus simultaneously. Harries added:
The risks of catching both together still remain. And if you do that, then early evidence suggests that you are twice as likely to die from having two together, than just having COVID alone.
Harries, along with several other health experts and officials, are now urging that everyone get their annual flu shot as well as their COVID vaccine if they haven’t already. She also recommends following the COVID safety protocols such as wearing a mask, sanitising, and social distancing. She continued:
The real trick here is to get vaccinated in both COVID and flu and continue to do those good hygiene behaviours that we've been practising all through COVID.