2020 Twindemic: The h1n1 and Coronavirus Overlap

October 1 Is the Official Flu Season Start

As if the world hasn’t worried enough the last half year, 2020 will go out with a bang as the flu season approaches in one month. No time to relax, flu season (yes, that other virus) is here.  In an effort to prevent the eventual spread of the h1n1 and other viruses, some states have initiated a required flu shot to children planning on attending schools this fall. The symptoms of the flu resemble COVID-19 and it is possible to be infected by both at the same time. Both affect the respiratory system and MDs are urging the public to protect their children and the possible spread of flu and get a shot. Reminiscent of 11 years ago, these viruses are hard to fend off.

h1n1 Virus of 2009

It’s not a secret that h1n1 flu and its effect on world heath is the subject of many articles on control and prevention of flu outbreaks. When the h1n1 flu, otherwise known as the swine flu, first arrived, it was also considered a pandemic. People knew little about this flu virus, no different than the swing flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2009, a new H1N1 influenza virus emerged, causing the first global flu pandemic in 40 years. In 2010, the h1n1 flu was moved to post-pandemic classification by the World Health Organization, however, they did cite that localized outbreaks could still occur, but not on the same grand scale.

Flu Pandemics in History

The 2009 h1n1 outbreak makes it clear that viruses can change and find a way back into our communities. Looking back at pandemics in history, on the CDC website, in 1918 during World War I, a new influenza virus emerged. Due to the overcrowding and movement of the military, globally during this time, the flue spread. No treatment or vaccines for this virus, young healthy people contracted the virus created a major global public health crisis with least 50 million deaths worldwide.

The CDC says approximately 675,000 of these deaths were in the United States causing another pandemic. Disease control and prevention is the number one reason that the CDC exists, and any flu virus including h1n1, Coronavirus and even swine flu is just a small part of what they do to help defeat any pandemic in the united states along with global disease control.



Coronavirus Raises Awareness for All Viruses

The Novel Coronavirus of 2019 has brought forth many facts about people and their ability to prevent the spread of flus and viruses. According to Health.com, the World Health Organization estimates that there are 290,000-650,000 deaths each year from the seasonal flu.

Control and prevention of this virus has been going on for centuries and continue to be the same as the new Coronavirus. Wear masks. Wash hands for 20 seconds with soap or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% ethanol formula. Most recently, the term social distancing has received a lot of mention publicly in communities, homes, schools, restaurants and events. This pandemic has raised awareness for this new term and how important it is in preventing the spread of the Coronavirus or any other flu or virus, for that matter.

Beating the Virus: Getting Back to Normal?

Control and prevention of any flu virus is in the hands of our healthcare industry and people. The seasonal flu and swine flu have proven this through the years. Politicians have wielded their wands of power in how they want us to fight this virus, but in the end, it is up to the people to keep the Coronavirus and even the seasonal flu from spreading.

As some schools are back in session, and universities and colleges are making their own paths, here are the facts to why pandemics become pandemics. 1) there is no cure or control 2) people’s social behavior, proximity and hygiene create the spread of germs. 3) lack of supplies to help virus and disease control.

Pandemics are controlled with early detection, testing and population health, in other words, following the direction of centers for disease control (CDC). Getting back to normal and beating this pandemic, no different than the 2009 h1n1, means listening to the scientists, wearing protective equipment like masks and gloves, hand washing, surface sanitization and social distancing. Avoiding large mass gatherings that are social distancing has been the best prevention of the spread of the pandemic virus to a larger population. As the 2020 hurricane season comes to a close, the Twindemic virus season approaches with fury. Getting back to normal will take time and certainly requires attention to detail as states decide how to keep their communities safe.