Flu jab 2020: Can you get coronavirus and flu at the same time? Symptoms if you have BOTH

Flu jabs could protect millions of people from two deadly viruses this year. COVID-19 is surging across the world, most notably in the UK, which has recorded thousands of new daily cases. While fewer deaths have emerged so far, the second wave has arrived on the cusp of the influenza season, meaning Brits need to prepare for a two-pronged assault.

Can you get coronavirus and flu at the same time?

COVID-19 and seasonal influenza share several characteristics.

Both diseases “invade” the body and cause symptoms, which emerge when the immune system fights back.

As such, people may suspect it is not possible to have both at the same time, as if one activates the bodily defence system, surely it would prevent the other getting in?

However, doctors have warned a “twindemic” of COVID-19 and the flu could ravage the UK and world at large this winter.

People getting either would force an unprecedented burden on health services, but some will end up susceptible to both.

COVID-19 and the flu can attack the body at the same time, according to experts, who say co-infection would cause “catastrophic” damage.

Getting the flu would call the immune system into action, but while it fights off the invader, it uses energy.

Stanford epidemiologist Doctor Seema Yasmin told CNN this would leave a door open for COVID-19.

She said: “Once you get infected with the flu and some other respiratory viruses, it weakens your body.

“Your defences go down, and it makes you vulnerable to getting a second infection on top of that.”

Given the flu and COVID-19 already come with a risk of death on their own, having both increases this further.

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How to tell if you have the flu and COVID-19

Understanding whether someone has flu and COVID alone or together is a tough ask for doctors.

As the immune system responds, it causes similar symptoms for both diseases, which include a high fever, coughing, shortness of breath and fatigue.

These symptoms barely differ as the body uses the same method to respond, with temperatures designed to make it inhabitable for the disease, and coughing to eject it.

But health officials have identified some subtle differences between the two.

COVID-19 causes bizarre symptoms of loss of taste and smell, which experts have now identified as a hallmark of the disease.

The best way to protect against contracting both at the same time is to take a flu jab.

Following Government guidelines should drastically reduce any risk of catching a virus this winter.

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