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Are You Prepared for a Twindemic?

Key Points


  • In the US, according to HealthMap and the CDC, influenza numbers are increasing with almost all of them being the H3N2 strain (Influenza A). Cases are increasing as identified through indicators, including hospitalizations. Although early activity had focused on those ages 5 to 24, the proportion of illnesses in older age-groups has risen in recent weeks.
    • Several states are starting to report low numbers of deaths due to flu and cases are approaching where they were 2 years ago. Unfortunately, the “twindemic” of flu and COVID-19 that public health leaders wrongly predicted last year might happen this year.
    • However, it should be noted that testing for flu is likely unusually high this year because that is the only sure way to differentiate between flu and COVID-19.
    • According to the CDC, “Influenza activity is increasing, with the eastern and central parts of the country seeing the largest increases and the western part of the country reporting lower levels of influenza virus circulation at this time.”
  • According to the WHO, “Globally, influenza activity continued to increase but remains well below levels observed in previous seasons.”

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Recommendations for Industry

Are You Prepared for a Twindemic?

A year ago this time, we were anticipating a “twindemic” of COVID-19 and the flu. While it never quite reached that level last year – likely due to precautions still being taken, the confluence of the Omicron variant and flu numbers trending toward pre-COVID levels, we are very likely to see a twindemic as we move into 2022.

  • COVID – As stated in Key Points, the Delta variant is continuing to spread, but Omicron is now accounting for 73% of all new COVID-19 cases. More than 50 million COVID cases have been reported in the last 30 days, with CDC listing community transmission as high, and COVIDActNow listing the risk levels of at least four states as “severe.”
  • FLU – Case numbers are increasing with several states starting to report levels approaching those of two years ago. While the increased detection also is somewhat due to increased testing caused by COVID fears, this may, in fact, give us a more accurate picture of the actual flu season.

But whether due to COVID or flu, absenteeism due to employee illness is likely to increase, so it is important for businesses to plan:

  • What are your mission-critical processes?
  • Can workers be moved around to help fulfill these if needed?
  • Do you have a plan for back-ups for managers, supervisors, or other lead personnel should they become ill?
  • Are your remote capabilities as good as they can be for those who would have the option to work from home?
  • Do you have access to adequate COVID testing if you need to manage employee isolation and quarantine periods?

If you don’t feel you are as prepared as you may need to be, or would like other recommendations or assistance, give TAG a call. We can review your plan or assist in preparing one.

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