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‘Flurona’: You can get COVID-19 and the flu at the same time

Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 12:31 PM CST
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(Gray News) - There have been multiple reports of “flurona” in the U.S. and internationally in recent days.

The unofficial term is used for someone diagnosed with COVID-19 and the flu virus at the same time.

WIBW reported Wednesday on the first known case in Kansas, and the patient was in the ICU, a hospital representative said.

People also have been diagnosed in other states, including a Mississippi man, a child in Texas and a teen in California, all with mild symptoms.

The Times of Israel stated Sunday that its first known case in the country of the double infection had been found in a pregnant woman, and she had mild symptoms.

Reports of it are uncommon, but there had been cases found in February 2020 in New York as the pandemic was first hitting the U.S., per The Atlantic. Medical staff at an urgent care clinic said a family of four all tested positive for COVID and the flu.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes in its FAQs that people can have more than one respiratory illness, like COVID and influenza, at the same time.

Similar symptoms make it hard to tell the difference without testing, and health officials are still studying to find how commonly a co-infection occurs.

The 2020-2021 flu season was less severe than usual, likely due in part to masking and social distancing efforts to lower the spread of COVID. Doctors and officials have expressed concern this year’s flu season could be worse as society has opened back up.

There’s no clear evidence “flurona” causes more hospitalization or other serious outcomes, but the CDC and other health experts encourage every person eligible to get vaccinated for COVID and influenza.

To find a vaccine site near you, go to vaccines.gov.

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