What’s a Twindemic?

What’s a Twindemic?

Since we began living through a pandemic in late 2020, it’s been hard to focus on much else in terms of healthcare. However, it’s important that we don’t forget about the viruses that have existed long before Covid-19 came to town. As much as we’d love to just focus on one at a time, other viruses will continue to make their seasonal re-entrance into our lives. 

The “other” respiratory virus that we’ve been familiar with for centuries now is influenza. It’s actually been with us for over 1,000 years, arriving seasonally in various strains. The most notorious strain of influenza was an H1N1 virus documented during WWI, known historically as the Pandemic of 1918 or the Spanish Flu. 

There have been a lot of comparisons between that worldwide health crisis over 100 years ago and the global pandemic that we’re experiencing today. While both are pandemic-level viruses that have affected people globally, they actually come from two different viruses. The 1918 pandemic was caused by a strain of the influenza virus, and Covid-19 is caused by a coronavirus.  


What’s the difference between the Flu and Covid-19? 

The flu is caused by various strains of the influenza virus, of which there are 4 known categories (A-D). The specific A strain that was present in 1918 survived and, over time, combined with other variants to create new ones. This resulted in further serious outbreaks containing that same strain in 1957, 1968, and 2009. There are different strains present every season, and vaccines are created from the most up-to-date research that helps predict which strains pose a greater threat each season. 

Covid-19, which we’re quite well-versed in after living with it for 2 years, is caused by a novel coronavirus that was first discovered in 2019. While they share many of the same symptoms, there are some important distinctions between the flu and Covid-19. 

The Flu:

  • Caused by a type of influenza virus
  • Symptoms usually appear in 1-4 days
  • Between 290,000-460,000 people die every year due to flu-related causes 

Covid-19:

  • Caused by a type of coronavirus
  • Symptoms take longer to show up, anywhere from 2-14 days
  • More easily transmissible than the flu
  • Has a higher mortality rate than the flu
  • Can cause more serious side-effects
  • People are contagious for longer periods of time

Symptoms of both the Flu and Covid-19:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/having chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle pain or body aches
  • Headache
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Change in or loss of taste or smell (more frequent with COVID-19)

What are the different symptoms of Covid-19 versus the flu?

While this can be a tricky pair of viruses to differentiate between when symptoms are mild to normal, there are 2 signs that may indicate the need for a Covid-19 test:

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Sudden loss of taste or smell

If you’re experiencing either of the above, follow the advice of your medical professional and refer to the CDC guidelines


The “Twindemic”: Influenza meets Covid-19

If you’ve been paying attention to the news, you may have already been introduced to the term “twindemic”. Experts are warning of the potential dangers of both Covid-19 and the flu spreading simultaneously this winter. Last year, due to lockdowns and a significant decrease in travel, the flu didn’t spread the way it normally has seasonally. But, now that Covid-19 infection rates have lowered thanks to global vaccine efforts, we’re living in an almost back to normal world. 

The threat of a twindemic is a major concern since it’s the first real flu season that will allow the virus opportunities to spread. The dangers of getting both at the same time are largely unknown at this point, but medical professionals have speculated about the risks. A single weakened immune system that’s already fighting one virus isn’t in a good position to try and fight against another. 

Dr. Richard Harris of our medical advisory board explains:

“A systemic review published in June of 2021 looked at influenza and COVID-19 coinfection.  It found the rate was 0.4% here in the US.  Although that number is low, as infection control measures relax, this number may increase this winter. 

Another study found that viral coinfection with another virus was associated with a higher risk of ICU admission and death.” 

The potential of long-term effects is of particular concern, especially related to the lungs and respiratory system, as both the flu and Covid-19 are respiratory viruses. Anything we can do now to avoid exposure to either of these viruses, but especially both, is important. 


Get Prepared Now: Stay safe and stock up

With so many ripe opportunities for those tiny, motivated viruses, it’s more important than ever to take precautions. You can protect yourself and your family by getting prepared now. 

Here’s how you can stay well this season and protect yourself from possible infection:

  • Ensure your flu and Covid-19 vaccinations are up-to-date 
  • Wear a mask
  • Maintain social distancing 
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Practice good Immune Defense
  • Eat well and exercise regularly

Have what you need to get well ASAP

If you do get sick, then going to the drugstore will be the last thing you’ll have the energy to do. Get your medicine cabinet stocked up with the basics now. When your body needs naps & Netflix, you can relax at home knowing that you’ve got everything you need to feel better already in stock. 

The Perfect Winter Medicine Cabinet Checklist: 

Not only will this medicine cabinet checklist bring you relief when you need it, but you’ll also be saving anywhere from 20-30% when you buy Fluent products online. Stay well and spend better! 

  • Cold & Flu Severe Day

  • A fast-acting remedy to help get you through the day:

    • Acetaminophen 325mg (pain reliever / fever reducer)
    • Dextromethorphan HBr 10mg (cough suppressant)
    • Guaifenesin 200mg (expectorant)
    • Phenylephrine HCI 5mg (nasal decongestant)
  •  Cold & Flu Severe Night 

  • Stay comfy under the covers when you’re under the weather with effective nighttime relief: 

    • Acetaminophen 325mg (pain reliever / fever reducer)
    • Dextromethorphan HBr 10mg (cough suppressant)
    • Doxylamine Succinate 6.25mg (antihistamine)
    • Phenylephrine HCI 5mg (nasal decongestant)

  • Children’s Fever Reducer & Pain Relief: Acetaminophen 
  • Gentle and effective cherry flavored relief without aspirin or ibuprofen for children ages 2-11:

    • Acetaminophen 160mg per 5ml (pain reliever / fever reducer

     

    Berry-flavored non-steroidal anti-inflammatory relief for children 6-11:

    • Ibuprofen USP 100mg (NSAID)* per 5ml (pain reliever / fever reducer)

  • Cough Drops: Choose Cherry or Honey-Lemon
  • Cool and calming menthol cough drops that’ll give you and your throat some peace:

    • Menthol 7.5mg per lozenge (cough suppressant / oral anesthetic)

  • The Fluent SmartExam™
  • Consulting with a physician has never been easier! The Fluent SmartExam™ device works using Nonagon technology, simplifying your medical exams and enabling you to consult remotely with a virtual care physician via your smartphone. In a single, handheld device, you’ve got it all at your fingertips:

    • Stethoscope
    • Thermometer
    • Otoscope (examines inner ear)
    • Oximeter (checks saturation and pulse rate)

     

    This winter, don’t leave your body and your health exposed when it’s so easy to stay protected. Keep your immune system strong and stock up on everything you might need this season as the potential of a “twindemic” increases. 

    When you’re feeling not-so-hot, you can check your temperature, pop a honey lemon cough drop, retreat back to the couch and congratulate yourself for being so proactive. 

    And, you don’t even have to thank us… it’s what we’re here for.