Coronavirus and the Flu: A Looming Double Threat

The overlap of COVID-19 and influenza has epidemiologists and some policy makers concerned. The U.S. may soon face two epidemics at the same time, they worry, and this combination could precipitate a crisis unlike any other.

Scientific American takes a look at experts predictions of another wave of coronavirus and the flu for later this year. If that happens, there will be a lot of pressure on the healthcare system.

“The worst-case scenario is both [the coronavirus and the flu] are spreading fast and causing severe disease, complicating diagnoses and presenting a double burden on the health care system,” says Marc Lipsitch, an epidemiologist at Harvard University. A few states are planning for extra capacity in hospitals to deal with both illnesses.