It’s funny in an ironic way… we kind-of took cold and flu season for granted before COVID-19.
I mean, yes, people have always dreaded these seasonal threats while striving to prevent (or overcome) them.
But now, after so many unfortunate deaths during the pandemic, science is looking at the common cold and flu through a new lens…
One that takes into account all we’ve learned since COVID-19 came into our lives nearly four years ago.
Not always a short-term risk
A new study suggests, similar to the phenomenon known as long COVID, people can also experience long flu.
(Both are caused by viruses, so it makes sense there are comparisons between the two.)
The most common, lingering symptoms include fever, headache, and coughing. Which makes scientists wonder… could the flu also cause long-term damage on other organ systems?
A team of researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine and the Veterans Affairs St. Louis Healthcare System analyzed patients hospitalized with the flu. (This indicates they had a severe infection.)
Turns out, many of these patients experienced prolonged adverse health effects, particularly concerning their lungs and airways.
Not only that, but in the 18 months following hospitalization, flu patients were at an increased risk of death, organ health issues, and hospital readmission—similar to the patterns observed in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
The researchers also noted that the health risks were highest after the first month of infection.
Prior to COVID, that finding may have never been uncovered, as many people shrug these viruses off as short-term threats.
But it’s imperative to know that this seemingly brief illness CAN lead to chronic disease.
Both dangerous, stay vigilant
It’s important to note the impact of COVID remains bigger than the flu.
That’s because the former has the ability to potentially damage any of our organs. (The heart, brain, and kidneys being most at-risk.) By comparison, the flu seems to predominantly affect the respiratory system.
In fact, researchers found that hospitalized COVID patients faced a 68 percent increased risk of health issues across ALL organ systems, compared to a six percent increased risk among flu patients (mainly involving the respiratory system).
Plus, COVID patients were 50 percent more likely to die than flu patients. They also had a higher rate of hospital readmission and intensive care unit (ICU) admission.
I know… we ALL want to put COVID in the past and go back to thinking: “You’ll be sick and over it in just a few days.”
But there’s still a need for vigilance—whether we’re talking about the common cold, the flu, or COVID-19—especially for our most vulnerable populations.
The bottom line? We need to wake up to the reality that these seasonal threats CAN contribute to long-term health issues. They may even contribute to premature death!
That’s a simple scientific fact, not trivial politicization.
To check out my ultimate guide for SHIELDING against winter’s worst, check out the January 2024 issue of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives. In it, I reveal my list of go-to supplements that will help SUPPORT your immune system this winter, and beyond.
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“‘Long flu’ is a real illness just like long COVID, study explains.” StudyFinds, 12/14/2023. (studyfinds.org/long-flu-real-like-long-covid/)