Medical providers want to avoid ‘twindemic’ as flu season begins alongside potential second wave of COVID-19

Coronavirus

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — With the flu season now around the corner and a potential second wave of COVID-19, health providers want to avoid what’s being called a ‘twindemic’.

RELATED: With flu season looming, health experts fear ‘twindemic’

One concern, Hartford HealthCare (HHC) has seen a 45% uptick in COVID activity in the past seven days.

Connecticut’s population and healthcare systems have done a good job of managing to keep COVID-19 rates low. But, there has recently been more evidence we could be seeing results of Labor Day activity and colleges reopening.

RELATED: Could Connecticut’s COVID-19 uptick be from colleges reopening or Labor Day functions? Yale doctor weighs in

Chief Clinical Officer at HHC Dr. Ajay Kumar told News 8 Tuesday, “Hartford Healthcare today has 32 patients in inpatient facilities and that’s one of the highest numbers we’ve seen in the last three or four weeks at this time…We had been living under less than one percent prevalence for several weeks across the state of Connecticut, so the small rise – which is happening right now – is something to be kept eye on.”

HHC is seeing increased activity in Willimantic, Norwich, and Hartford areas right now with positivity rates around one and a half percent. More young people testing positive, and it isn’t just the very elderly at risk.

“After 50, the mortality rate exponentially goes up and less than 50 years of age the mortality rate is less than one percent,” said Dr. Kumar.

RELATED: LIST: Community Health Center, Inc. offering free flu shots at locations around CT

HHC launched a media campaign urging everyone to get a flu shot, which can help keep you out of the hospital. One concern: flu and COVID-19 symptoms are similar, so health experts urge vigilance.

Keith Grant, APRN, Senior System Director Infection Prevention, HHC urged, “Contact your healthcare provider because there are so many similarities.”

Doctors say that timeframe to get that flu shot is by the end of October.

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