(CNN) — Flu season and COVID-19 are about to collide.

Dr. Vivek Murthy, former U.S. Surgeon General, “Their symptoms will be hard to distinguish from COVID-19 symptoms. A new study suggests flu and maybe even other viruses can spread on dust particles.

Both are contagious respiratory illnesses but are caused by different viruses.

It’s already known that these viruses can spread through droplets in the air and from touching infected surfaces. But a new study suggests the flu and potentially other viruses like the coronavirus may be carried on small particles of dust that float in the air.

The research published in the journal, Nature Communications, determined animals could infect one another in a lab through the virus on their fur. They also found dried tissues soaked with the virus could send off potentially infectious particles through the air when they were crumpled.
Adding another layer of concern, as health officials are already bracing for flu season amid the pandemic especially when it comes to virus detection says former U.S Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy.

Dr. Vivek Murthy, former U.S. surgeon general, “Because of the challenges, the ongoing challenges we have with testing capacity, it may take us a while to figure out whether a person who has a fever actual has COVID-19 or something else, which means more people will be isolated for longer and also means it will be harder to keep schools and workplaces open.”

The CDC says getting a flu vaccine will be more important than ever this season. The agency recommends all people six months and older get a yearly flu shot.

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