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Co-infection with Influenza and COVID Reported

01/23/2022

Co-infection with COVID and Influenza has been reported from thirteen states with between two and ten cases diagnosed within the past week with Virginia reporting 20 hospitalizations.  It is recommended that workers on farms and in plants should be immunized with the current influenza vaccine that contains four strains in addition to full COVID vaccination comprising a series of two mRNA priming doses plus a booster. 

 

Immunity to influenza in the U.S. population has probably waned since 2020 as public health precautions to prevent COVID, including masking and social distancing, thereby reducing the spread of influenza with the lowest incidence rates in recent memory.  Accordingly the U.S. unvaccinated population is susceptible to influenza. This has clinical implications in the event of a superimposition of Omicron-COVID which is highly infectious and responsible for the increasing incidence rate especially in areas with low vaccination compliance.  Vaccination clinics to administer influenza and COVID vaccines can be arranged with the cooperation of county or state public health departments. Immunization will avoid absenteeism and generate goodwill among the workforce and the community.