WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- “Flurona” is the term used to describe a rare co-infection of influenza and COVID-19.
- The United States is reporting high case rates for both respiratory infections.
- The nation fights a surge of new COVID-19 cases as the flu season progresses.
As coronavirus cases continue to surge in the U.S. due to the omicron variant, some health officials are now monitoring a condition being referred to as “flurona.”
The term “flurona” is used to describe a patient contracting both COVID-19 and the flu.
Israel recorded its first case of an individual infected with both the seasonal flu and COVID-19 on Dec. 23. The infections were found in an unvaccinated pregnant woman who had mild symptoms.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that people can be infected with both the flu and COVID-19 at the same time and have symptoms of both.
The flu and COVID-19 share many of the same symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose and change in or loss of taste or smell, although this last symptom is more frequent with COVID-19.
When paired together, however, the viruses can result in severe symptoms such as pneumonia, respiratory complications and myocarditis, which could lead to death if left untreated, according to CNBC.
Due to their similarities, the CDC recommends testing for both viruses to tell what the illness is and to confirm a diagnosis.
At this time, there are numerous preventive steps that people can take, including getting vaccinated for COVID-19 and the flu. Other recommended steps are:
- wearing a mask in indoor spaces
- avoiding close contact with people who are sick
- staying six feet away from others
- avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces
- testing to prevent spread to others
- covering coughs and sneezes.
- washing hands often with soap and water
- cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with viruses that cause flu or COVID-19
While last year’s flu season in the United States was the lowest it’s been in decades, this season’s numbers are growing.
In recent years, the flu season has peaked at an average of 12,500 diagnosed weekly cases, usually in late January or February.
Source: Yahoo! News