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Iowa doctors hope to prevent ‘twindemic’ as flu cases increase in Iowa

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 10:24 AM CST
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Flu season is in full swing.

At this time last year, the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics had just one confirmed case, but last week, UIHC reported 150 cases.

UIHC’s Chief Medical Officer, Theresa Brennan, is worried about the flu numbers, because they aren’t usually this high until December.

“We are anticipating a very bad flu season, and we are already seeing our clinics fill up with more and more patients testing positive for flu when they get their COVID-19 tests,” Brennan said. “We need to inform the public about flu prevention so we can prevent a ‘twindemic’ where flu and COVID-19 are in high transmission at the same time.”

Brennan thinks people might be skipping the flu shot since there were so few cases last year.

With fewer people physically distancing or wearing masks, it’s likely both respiratory viruses will be spreading this holiday season.

“We are fully prepared for another surge, whether it will be as high as last year, whether the hospitalization rate will be what it was last year, we’re hoping not,” Brennan said. “But I think we’re very cautiously watching.”

Doctor Brennan said none of the 150 cases from last week required hospitalization.

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