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Flurona: First Case of COVID and Flu Double Infection Recorded in Israel

COVID-19 and influenza
The first case of Flurona has been detected in Israel. It is believed that it was also detected in the US. Credit: AMNA

The first case of a mix of the two diseases COVID-19 and influenza, dubbed “Flurona,” has been recorded in Israel.

Some reports suggest this marks the first such dual case in the world, but reports of patients with both flu and COVID-19 surfaced in the US as early as Spring 2020. This case comes as Israel has experienced a spike in influenza cases in recent weeks, sparking fears of a “twindemic.”

Local reports said the patient was a young pregnant woman who was in hospital but was experiencing only mild symptoms.

Does flurona cause a more serious infection?

Israel’s health ministry is studying this unprecedented case closely with the idea of ​​being able to confirm that the combination of these two viruses does not cause a more serious infection.

“She was diagnosed with the flu and coronavirus as soon as she arrived. Both tests came back positive, even after we checked again,” said Arnon Vizhnitser, director of the gynaecology department of Beilinson Hospital in the city of Petah Tikva.

“The disease is the same disease; they’re viral and cause difficulty breathing, since both attack the upper respiratory tract,” he told the newspaper Hamodia.

The publication said she had not been vaccinated against COVID-19 or influenza. The woman was released on Thursday from the hospital, whose spokesman said she was in good condition.

Health officials said it was likely many others have been infected with both viruses, but have not yet been diagnosed, the news site Ynet reports.

People could be infected with both COVID-19 and influenza

Doctors in the US had previously warned that people could easily become infected with both COVID-19 and influenza.

“Once you get infected with the flu and some other respiratory viruses, it weakens your body,” Stanford Health Communication Initiative director and epidemiologist Seema Yasmin told CNN.

“Your defenses go down, and it makes you vulnerable to getting a second infection on top of that.”

With the symptoms for both illnesses similar, health experts say the best way to tell the difference between them is to get tested.

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