(WJW) – The name might sound like a joke, but the World Health Organization says cases of people getting influenza and COVID-19 are very real. “Flurona” is when a patient has both the flu and COVID.
Israel just confirmed its first case of so-called flurona Thursday, according to The Times of Israel. The dual infection was identified in an unvaccinated pregnant woman whose symptoms Beilinson Hospital doctors described as mild.
“She was diagnosed with the flu and coronavirus as soon as she arrived. Both tests came back positive, even after we checked again,” Prof. Arnon Vizhnitser, director of the hospital’s gynecology department, told Hamodia. “The disease is the same disease; they’re viral and cause difficulty breathing since both attack the upper respiratory tract.”
She was released Thursday in good condition, according to The Times of Israel, but the Health Ministry is looking into the case to see if the combination of infections increased the severity of the illness.
While some reports said it was the first case in the world, according to WHO, it’s also been seen in the U.S. and across Asia.
WHO told Nexstar’s WJW that the frequency of influenza co-infection among COVID-19 positive patients is 0.4% in America.
According to Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. has recorded 55,240,407 cases of COVID-19.
WHO says co-infections are not unusual when there is an intense transmission of pathogens in communities, in this instance, COVID-19 and flu.
WHO reports the co-infection rate is much higher in Asia, with 4.5% of COVID-positive patients getting sick with influenza at the same time.
For those people looking to maximize their protection against the flu and COVID-19, the CDC says you can get vaccines for both during the same visit.
Experts say past experience shows that vaccines tend to work as intended, with similar side effects, whether or not they are spaced out or given jointly.