Flu Season Returns Amid COVID-19 Pandemic: Johns Hopkins Medicine Experts Available

09/27/2021

The influenza “flu” season will make its annual return in the coming weeks as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Flu cases tend to increase in October and can occur as late as May. Last season, flu activity remained low, but Johns Hopkins Medicine experts are concerned that the 2021–22 flu season will likely be worse than last year, since mild flu seasons are often followed by more severe flu seasons. This, mixed with COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses that circulate in the fall and winter months, may lead to a surge in hospitalizations.

Johns Hopkins Medicine experts recommend prevention methods to protect yourself and your family from these respiratory illnesses, such as getting a flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine, as well as hand washing, wearing a face mask, and maintaining proper physical distancing.

Johns Hopkins Medicine experts will be available throughout the 2021–22 flu season for interviews about the epidemiology of this year’s flu virus, as well as to provide important updates about this year’s flu vaccine, differences between the flu and COVID-19, and the potential for flu to cause illness and hospitalizations amid the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

Available Johns Hopkins Medicine Experts

Flu and COVID-19 in Adults

Paul Auwaerter, M.D., M.B.A.
Clinical Director, Division of Infectious Diseases, The Johns Hopkins Hospital
Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

William Checkley, M.D., Ph.D.
Pulmonary and Critical Care Physician, The Johns Hopkins Hospital
Associate Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Natasha Chida, M.D., M.S.P.H.
Infectious Diseases Physician, The Johns Hopkins Hospital 
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine 

Jade Flinn, M.S.N., R.N.
Nurse Educator, Johns Hopkins Biocontainment Unit

Brian Garibaldi, M.D.
Medical Director, Johns Hopkins Biocontainment Unit
Associate Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Gabor Kelen, M.D.
Director, Department of Emergency Medicine, The Johns Hopkins Hospital
Professor of Emergency Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Director, Johns Hopkins Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response

Eili Klein, Ph.D., M.A.
Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Lisa Maragakis, M.D., M.P.H.
Senior Director of Infection Prevention, The Johns Hopkins Health System
Associate Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Stuart Ray, M.D.
Infectious Diseases Physician, The Johns Hopkins Hospital
Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Clare Rock, M.B.B.Ch., M.S.
Associate Hospital Epidemiologist, The Johns Hopkins Hospital
Associate Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Richard Rothman, M.D., Ph.D.
Executive Vice Chair and Vice Chair of Research, Department of Emergency Medicine, The Johns Hopkins Hospital
Co-Principal Investigator, Johns Hopkins Center of Excellence in Influenza Research and Response
Professor of Emergency Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Shmuel Shoham, M.D.
Infectious Diseases Physician, The Johns Hopkins Hospital
Associate Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

The Flu, Covid-19 and Children

Allison Agwu, M.D., Sc.M.
Adult and Pediatric Infectious Diseases Specialist, The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins Children’s Center
Professor of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Aaron Milstone, M.D., M.H.S.
Associate Hospital Epidemiologist, The Johns Hopkins Hospital
Pediatric Infectious Diseases Specialist, Johns Hopkins Children’s Center
Professor of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Anna Sick-Samuels, M.D., M.P.H.
Associate Hospital Epidemiologist, The Johns Hopkins Hospital
Pediatric Infectious Diseases Specialist, Johns Hopkins Children’s Center
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Experts Available at Other Johns Hopkins Health System Hospitals

Howard County General Hospital
Media Contact: Susan Case, Senior Director, Marketing and Communications, Howard County General Hospital, 410-292-1881, scase@jhmi.edu

Mihaela Carter, M.D.
Infectious Diseases Physician, Howard County General Hospital

Joseph Chang, M.D.
Infectious Diseases Physician, Howard County General Hospital

B. Mark Landrum, M.D.
Section Chief, Medicine/Infectious Diseases, Howard County General Hospital

Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
Morgan Katz, M.D., M.H.S.
Director of Antimicrobial Stewardship, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Geetika Sood, M.D., Sc.M.
Hospital Epidemiologist, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Mark Sulkowski, M.D.
Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital
Media Contact: Danielle Caci, Public Relations Manager, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, 727-767-2897, danielle.caci@jhmi.edu

Allison Messina, M.D.
Chair, Division of Infectious Disease, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital

Sibley Memorial Hospital
Media Contact:  Amy Shaw, Director, Strategic Communications and Public Relations, Johns Hopkins Medicine – National Capital Region, 301-896-2598, ashaw18@jhmi.edu

Jennifer Abele, M.D., M.B.A.
Assistant Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer, Sibley Memorial Hospital

Nadia Eltaki, M.D.
Director of Clinical Operations and Emergency Medicine Physician, Sibley Memorial Hospital

Hasan Zia, M.D., M.B.A.
President and Chief Operating Officer, Sibley Memorial Hospital

Suburban Hospital
Media Contact: Amy Shaw, Director, Strategic Communications and Public Relations, Johns Hopkins Medicine – National Capital Region, ashaw18@jhmi.edu

Dominique Foulkes, M.D.
Medical Director and Chair of Pediatric Medicine, Suburban Hospital

Barton Leonard, M.D.
Director of Emergency Medicine, Suburban Hospital

Sarojini Qasba, M.D., M.P.H.
Hospital Epidemiologist, Suburban Hospital