Scientists from the University of Edinburgh found that adults in hospitals who have COVID-19 and the flu at the same time are at much greater risk of severe disease and death.
They found that patients with co-infection of SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, and influenza viruses were over four times more likely to require ventilation support and 2.4 times more likely to die than if they only had COVID-19.
The research is published in The Lancet and was conducted by Dr. Maaike Swets et al.
In the study, the team examined more than 305,000 hospitalized patients with COVID-19.
They looked at the data of adults who had been hospitalized with COVID-19 in the UK between 6 February 2020 and 8 December 2021.
Test results for respiratory viral co-infections were recorded for 6965 patients with COVID-19. Some 227 of these also had the influenza virus, and they experienced much more severe outcomes.
The findings showed that the combination of COVID-19 and flu viruses is particularly dangerous.
This will be important as many countries decrease the use of social distancing and containment measures. Researchers expect that COVID-19 will circulate with flu, increasing the chance of co-infections.
The team says the findings show the need for greater flu testing of COVID-19 patients in hospitals and highlight the importance of full vaccination against both COVID-19 and the flu.
A recent study found that COVID-19 vaccines are less effective at protecting against COVID-19-associated hospitalizations in people who are immunocompromised.
The finding suggests that those who are immunocompromised should receive an additional dose and a booster, and take additional precautions like masking when in public.
If you care about COVID, please read studies about people who need additional COVID-19 vaccine doses, and Pfizer vaccine can successfully treat COVID-19.
For more information about COVID, please see recent studies about the cause of persistent breathlessness after COVID-19, and results showing bark of neem tree may protect against COVID-19 variants.
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