US will likely avert 'twindemic'

Flu cases have remained relatively low so far this season — a great relief to public health officials who previously feared an influx of severe flu patients on top of COVID-19 patients, or a twindemic, would devastate an already overburdened healthcare system, The New York Times reported Dec. 13. 

Just 496, or 0.2 percent of 232,452 U.S. swabs tested for the flu have been positive so far. By December, some states are typically flagged as having "moderate" or "high" flu activity in the CDC's weekly FluView report. No states have reached those levels so far this year. 

"Going forward, we don't expect influenza-like illness to go high," Inder Singh, founder and CEO of Kinsa Health, a company that forecasts flu trends, told the NYT. "It looks like the twindemic isn't going to happen." 

Experts believe the low numbers are linked to widespread mask wearing and rollbacks on indoor gatherings, among other COVID-19 spread prevention measures. 

More articles on public health:
16 of the CDC's most notable pandemic response actions
Pfizer vaccine nears emergency approval; daily COVID-19 deaths may surpass 9/11 toll for months, Redfield says — 5 updates
23 states where COVID-19 is spreading fastest, slowest: Dec. 14 


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