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Covid-flu combo during Kashmir winters can push death rate, says senior UK doctor

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File photo (KM/Umar Ganie)

Advises flu shot for all, additional pneumococcal vaccine for elderly

Srinagar: Ahead of winters, an expert has warned that the seasonal flu can further increase the chances of one contracting Covid-19 in Kashmir.

UK based senior pulmonologist of Kashmiri origin, Dr Tasaduk Sultan Khan, on Thursday said that catching the flu can potentiate the chances of getting infected with Coronavirus and make it deadlier than it is at present.


He advised that the people should get a flu vaccine at the earliest as there are chances of them being more vulnerable to the disease in the coming weeks and months.

“Well, theoretically flu can potentiate chances of Corona and two together portend a bad prognosis as studies have contemplated that there are 6x chances of dying with this combo than alone. Having said that, these are all speculations and only time will tell,” Dr Khan told The Kashmir Monitor in a telephonic interview.

Dr Tasaduk Sultan Khan (Photo: Special Arrangement)

Incidentally, Dr Khan has been at the forefront and treating Covid-19 cases in the UK right from the outbreak of the pandemic in the country.

“The only care I would suggest is to get your flu jab done as early as possible,” he said.

Asked how the flu shot would help against Covid-19, Dr Khan said: “By making sure that Covid does not get flu as a co-partner. Make sure we have flu covered by a proven vaccine.”

As expected, the elderly, the doctor said, were more vulnerable.

“Our elderly population should have both flu and pneumococcal vaccine protection. Mask, social distancing and hand washing are equally important,” he said.

Dr Khan said that smokers had more chances of getting infected with the virus. “High time smokers should think about quitting it,” he said.

He also advised the cancer patients to postpone visits to the hospitals if possible and if advised by their doctors.