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VERIFY: You can still get COVID-19 if you have the flu. Everyone needs to take the same precautions.

A viewer was told that people with the flu can't get the new coronavirus. That's not true and could lead people to harmful actions.

Viewer Chelsea W. sent us an email with an interesting question:

“A friend said the ER told her if she tested positive for the flu it was impossible to have the coronavirus at the same time... that the 2 viruses can’t be present in a patient at the same time. Is this true?”


Is it impossible to get the coronavirus at the same time as the flu?


No. Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization said it’s possible to have COVID-19, the sickness caused by the coronavirus, and the flu at the same time. They are currently researching to see what interactions the viruses might have.

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A spokesperson for the CDC told VERIFY that, “It is certainly possible for someone to have more than one virus or other microbial infection at the same time.”

The CDC separately confirmed that it’s possible to have the flu and COVID-19 simultaneously. 

So what does this mean for your body? Unfortunately, we don’t know yet. 

The WHO said they’re currently researching that exact question.

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They want to know how the coronavirus interacts with other viruses or illnesses.

But they can’t say yet if it puts people at more risk or changes symptoms. 

Bottom line: Having the flu doesn’t prevent you from getting COVID-19.

And that’s important because this false idea could lead people with the flu to think they’re immune or don’t have to take the same precautions to avoid COVID-19.

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Credit: VERIFY

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