In 10 seconds? Research shows that flu and SARS-CoV-2 co-infection increases the risk of death by almost 6%. But the study has also found that if someone catches the flu first, they are less likely to catch COVID-19.
What do the numbers say about the risk? At the time of writing, the world was more concerned with the newly emerged Omicron virus variant. However, health experts have been vary for a while of a dual flu and COVID-19 epidemic. For this study, researchers first collected various data from influenza tests conducted between January and June 2020 in England. They then analyzed the data for the time frame when COVID-19 infection was also reported. Out of over 19 000 individuals, 58 had a co-infection with COVID-19. Although the prevalence was low, the risk of death for patients with the flu and COVID-19 was 6 times higher than for patients without any of those infections. Interestingly, the chances of getting infected with SARS-CoV-2 were 58% lower among individuals who had already caught the flu. A separate laboratory study has also shown that immunity from influenza protected patients from COVID-19 but not the other way around.
Try our 7-day free trial and access the full article with citations and resources.