Could flu deaths accidentally have been confused with COVID deaths?
This question was answered live at the virtual conference titled, "Don’t Hesitate to Vaccinate! Our Experts Tell You Why" recorded on January 28, 2021.
There's always a possibility, but in most cases patients are tested for both COVID and influenza, which should be documented accordingly.
If a patient tests positive for both COVID and influenza and they die, then there would be documentation on both the Influenza Watch as well as the COVID Watch.
Across the country, combined flu and COVID cases have certainly occurred. Some people believe that if you get the flu, it weakens your immune system, making you more vulnerable to COVID. Usually they'll get COVID first.
Let's just be clear: the public health interventions that we've been putting in place, like staying at home, distancing, and wearing your mask have contributed to much much fewer flu cases and flu deaths. Staying at home, distancing, and wearing your mask works effectively against not only influenza but for coronavirus as well.
Dr. Jamal Gwathney, Clinical Director, Metropolitan Correctional Center, San Diego Federal Bureau of Prisons; National Public Health Officer
Dr. Rodney Hood, President and Chairman, Multicultural Health Foundation, and Tri-Chair, COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee
Dr. Wilma Wooten, Public Health Officer and Director of Public Health Services, County of San Diego, Health and Human Services Agency
* Funded by the County of San Diego in support of the Live Well San Diego vision.