Israel recently reported the world's first case of “flurona”, describing an individual who has been infected with both the seasonal flu and Covid-19 at the same time. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)
Israel recently reported the world's first case of “flurona”, describing an individual who has been infected with both the seasonal flu and Covid-19 at the same time. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

What you need to know about twin illness ‘flurona’

By Chad Williams Time of article published Jan 4, 2022

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CAPE TOWN - Israel recently reported the world's first case of “flurona”, describing an individual who has been infected with both the seasonal flu and Covid-19 at the same time.

According to a report by the Times of Israel, the two infections were found in an unvaccinated pregnant woman who had mild symptoms, Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva said.

The unvaccinated pregnant woman infected with both viruses was released from hospital in good condition, though health officials said there may be many similar cases. Experts in Israel have said that several other patients may have contracted the two viruses but have not been diagnosed.

Health officials in Israel have urged everyone 6 months or older to get vaccinated against influenza, which can be administered alongside a Covid-19 vaccine.

Both the flu and Covid-19 are most commonly spread by infected droplets, per the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and people can simply be exposed to both viruses at the same time or around the same time. This means that you could contract Covid-19 one day and the flu the next to develop flurona, according to the website Prevention.com.

Flurona won’t cause new symptoms that you wouldn’t get with one illness or the other, says Dr Thomas Russo, professor and chief of infectious disease at the University at Buffalo in New York. You could experience any of the symptoms of either condition at once.

According to the Times of Israel, the country has seen a spike in flu cases in recent weeks, with close to 2,000 people hospitalised amid fears of a “twindemic”.

Meanwhile, according to Israeli local media, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Sunday announced that Israel would offer a fourth dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to people over the age 60 and health-care workers amid a surge in Omicron variant cases.

– African News Agency

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