Expert Pitch
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Preventing a "Twindemic" - Public Health Advice to Navigating COVID-19 and Flu Season

With flu season approaching, medical and public health professionals across the country are bracing for the potential of continued issues with COVID-19 overlapping with a flu outbreak to create what some are calling a “twindemic.” While flu activity is low at the moment and more than 120 million doses of the vaccine have been distributed, there remains the challenge of convincing people nationwide to get a flu shot. In 2019, only around 45 percent of adults were vaccinated. This figure is concerning during a typical year, and exacerbated by the overlap of symptoms of the COVID-19 and the flu, along with concerns around hospital capacity.

Dr. Melinda Forthofer is a professor of public health sciences at UNC Charlotte whose research focuses on social factors related to health behavior change. She is available to discuss the topics below. 

  • Why is it particularly important for people to get a flu shot this year?
  • What is the outlook on the interaction of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and flu season?
  • What obstacles do public health professionals typically encounter when trying to push vaccinations?
  • Are there particular groups for which getting vaccinated is especially encouraged?
  • When is the best time to get a flu shot?
  • Do you see this as an opportunity to spread awareness about public health implications of vaccinations?




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Released: 20-Oct-2020 5:40 PM EDT
Nearly a Quarter of New York City Transit Workers Report Having Had COVID-19
New York University

A survey of New York City’s bus and subway workers finds that 24 percent report having contracted COVID-19 and 90 percent fear getting sick at work. The pilot study, conducted by researchers at NYU School of Global Public Health, in coordination with the Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 100, helps document the toll the pandemic has taken on the physical and mental health of essential workers.

Released: 20-Oct-2020 5:10 PM EDT
Viral post claiming Dr. Anthony Fauci was indicted is entirely false
Newswise

A Facebook post from May that is newly gaining traction says that Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the leading voice of experts in the coronavirus pandemic, has been indicted for treason. This claim is entirely false. Despite President Donald Trump calling him a "disaster," Fauci has not been indicted. There is no news coverage to support this claim, nor any original, credible documents or sources to corroborate it.

Released: 20-Oct-2020 4:10 PM EDT
Safety Considerations for Visiting Primary Care Doctors
Rutgers University-New Brunswick

The COVID-19 pandemic has left many people with chronic health conditions relying on telemedicine rather than seeing their doctor in person when necessary or putting off important visits entirely because they fear being infected. Ann M. Nguyen, an assistant research professor at Rutgers Center for State Health Policy at the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research, who recently published a paper on safety measures at physician offices, discusses what people should know about visiting their doctor and why putting off appointments that need to be done in person could lead to other health problems.

Released: 20-Oct-2020 3:50 PM EDT
New Jersey, Nation Surpass Halfway Employment Recovery Mark
Rutgers University-New Brunswick

New Jersey gained back half of the jobs lost due to the coronavirus pandemic but a wide disparity remains between higher-income professionals working at home and lower-wage support workers still bearing the brunt of the economic downturn that has gripped the nation, according to a new Rutgers report.

Newswise: 246364_web.jpg
Released: 20-Oct-2020 3:25 PM EDT
Effective ventilation may be a key factor in preventing the spread of COVID-19
ESTONIAN RESEARCH COUNCIL

During the first wave of COVID-19, which paralyzed the world in spring, it was initially thought that effective hand washing and 2-metre social distancing would help prevent the highly contagious virus.

Released: 20-Oct-2020 3:10 PM EDT
Researchers discovered the second 'key' used by the SARS-CoV-2 virus to enter into huma
University of Helsinki

To efficiently infect human cells, SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is able to use a receptor called Neuropilin-1, which is very abundant in many human tissues including the respiratory tract, blood vessels and neurons. The breakthrough discovery was made by a German-Finnish team of researchers led by neuroscientists Mika Simons ,Technical University of Munich, Germany and virologist Giuseppe Balistreri, University of Helsinki, Finland.

Released: 20-Oct-2020 2:50 PM EDT
Population currently sees coronavirus as the greatest health risk
BFR Federal Institute For Risk Assessment

Next on the list of concerns, though notably less frequently mentioned, are unhealthy or wrong diet as well as climate and environmental pollution - these were the most frequently mentioned concerns in February's survey. "The coronavirus pandemic dominates public perception", says BfR President Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel.

Released: 20-Oct-2020 2:45 PM EDT
Trump Mocked Biden for Saying He'll ‘Listen to the Scientists’
Newswise

U.S. President Donald Trump emphasized his stark contrast to his opponent Joe Biden in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic when he mocked Biden for saying he'll "listen to scientists."

Released: 20-Oct-2020 2:35 PM EDT
Most psoriasis patients taking immunosuppressants survive COVID-19
National Institute for Health Research

Patients with psoriasis who are taking drugs that affect their immune system have high rates of survival from COVID-19. According to the first findings from a global registry of psoriasis and COVID-19 patients, led by Guy's and St Thomas' clinicians, over 90% survive.

Newswise: Halloween Safety in the Coronavirus Era
Released: 20-Oct-2020 2:20 PM EDT
Halloween Safety in the Coronavirus Era
Cedars-Sinai

Halloween isn't going to be the same this year, but families can still have fun while reducing their risk of exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19 (coronavirus), says Priya Soni, MD, a Cedars-Sinai pediatric infectious disease specialist.


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