Doctors prepare for potential ‘Twin-demic’ with flu season

Published: Sep. 26, 2020 at 10:10 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - It’s been about six months since the first cases of COVID-19 were being diagnosed in Wisconsin. Now, local health systems reflect on lessons learned and look to preparing for the future as flu season approaches.

“We assume that those high-risk groups are going to have a significant amount of overlap,” SSM Health Wisconsin Regional Chief Medical Officer Amy Franta said. “The worst case scenario is that we see a lot of both. We know that the flu is not an innocuous disease, that we can see hospitalizations, deaths, complications from flu just like we can from covid.”

Dr. Franta said one of the hardest parts is going to be differentiating between the two viruses. She said another task will be figuring out how to keep patients separate from other people who are receiving routine health care.

“So really it’s going to be key in identifying the group that needs to go to a separate area whether that’s a designated clinic, or a designated part of a clinic to get evaluated or the tools we’re going to use to differentiate between the flu and COVID once they’re in the door,” Franta said.

Additionally, Franta emphasized the importance of the flu shot and vigilant symptom monitoring.

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