“Flurona” is the term used to describe when a person tests positive for COVID and the flu at the same time. However, it is not a new disease or a variant of COVID, according to experts.
Israel’s first known instance of a person infected with COVID-19 and the flu has been detected, the country’s Ministry of Health confirmed to CNN on Tuesday, which has raised questions over how the two viruses might impact someone who contracts them at the same time.
The patient, an unvaccinated pregnant woman in her 30s, was discharged “in good general condition,” Beilinson hospital in Petah Tikva, said in a statement.
“This is the first mother to be diagnosed with influenza and corona in Beilinson. We treated her with a drug combination that targets both corona and flu,” Arnon Wiznitzer, director of the Beilinson Women’s Department, said in the statement.
“We are seeing more and more morbidity of influenza among the maternity population, along with cases of corona that mainly occur in women not vaccinated against corona and influenza,” Wiznitzer added. “This is definitely a challenging time that in addition to the corona diseases we are increasingly dealing with flu.”
Scientists stress that the flu virus and COVID-19 virus are from two very different virus families, which is why they are not concerned about the two viruses mixing to create a new virus.
“Both are common, so it is not unexpected that some people would be infected at the same time,” Dr. Dan Barouch, director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston says.
Getting infected with two or more different viruses at once has always been a possibility. This includes HIV, the chickenpox virus, rabies virus, the common cold and many others. And with flu season coinciding with a new COVID-19 surge, there’s a greater chance that a handful of people will test positive for both viruses at the same time.
Though uncommon, doctors also saw a handful of cases of what they call co-infections (flu and COVID-19 in the same person at the same time) during last year’s flu season.
“It’s obviously not good to be infected with two viruses rather than one, but there’s no clear indication that this is a