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Could Covid and flu collide: Dr. Stevanovic explains the dangers of two viruses crossing paths

Professor Dr. Goran Stevanovic says that a fall with many epidemiological challenges awaits us

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Zlatibor Lončar, sastanak sa direktorima kovid bolnica u Srbiji

Photo: Tanjug/Zoran Zestic

Professor Dr. Goran Stevanovic, director of the Clinic for Infectious and Tropical Diseases and a member of the Crisis HQ for the fight against coronavirus, says that many epidemiological challenges await us in the fall.

"We cannot predict with certainty what the situation with the flu virus will be like this year, but we expect, because it turned out to be the rule, that when the previous season was mild, as it was last year, it will be followed by a stronger flu attack," Goran Stevanovic told Novosti:

"What we infectologists are most afraid of, and that happened at the beginning of the pandemic in Italy, for example, the worst possible scenario is a simultaneous infection with both Covid and flu, without being vaccinated against either. However, we hope that this will not happen because we have effective vaccines and preventive measures."

Authorities are appealing for mass vaccination against Covid, and vaccines against the influenza virus will be available starting in mid-October. The process of applying for the flu vaccine has already begun. In order for as efficient as possible immunization before the flu season, there are indications that vaccines could also be administered in pharmacies.

Tatjana Sipetic from the Pharmaceutical Chamber of Serbia said this during yesterday's conference on the latest scientific views, recommendations and projections regarding the upcoming flu season.

Currently, the most present, Indian (Delta) coronavirus strain is not bypassing even the youngest, so the number of examinations in children's Covid clinics is growing day by day. It is predicted that the number of visits to pediatricians will intensify when the flu season begins along with the Covid pandemic.

"Influenza in the children's population is a potentially a bigger danger than Covid," said Dr. Goran Vukomanovic, pediatrician at the Children's Clinic in Tirsova Street in Belgrade:

"Last year, we didn't have a real flu epidemic for several reasons, but one of them is that a large number of people in our country and around the world had been vaccinated. Flu vaccination is the best way of prevention for children with compromised immunity, and in addition, vaccination against Covid of children older than 12 is important. Vaccines are completely safe, and babies from the age of six months could also receive the one against the flu, but that is not a practice, because there usually aren't that many flu vaccines. Complications from the flu can also occur in completely healthy children."

In addition to immunization, experts agree that the most effective way to overcome the season of respiratory infections and pandemics is to wear a mask, wash hands regularly and avoid mass gatherings.


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