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What are the symptoms of Flurona? What is Flurona?

As new infections rise due to the Omicron variant, so too are cases of the flu with cases of dual infections dubbed “Flurona” reported in several countries.

As new infections rise due to the Omicron variant, so too are cases of the flu with cases of dual infections dubbed “Flurona” reported in several countries.

Although not novel, new cases of individuals coming down with both covid-19 and influenza, given the moniker “Flurona,” are being reported. The co-infection is not a new strain or combination of the two viruses just an unfortunate happenstance.

Flu season is just getting started in parts of the Northern Hemisphere and case numbers look set to rise above last year’s levels when strict safety measures to limit the spread of covid-19 most likely helped keep other bugs at bay. With case numbers of covid-19 hitting record levels “co-infections are pretty likely.”

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The flu and covid-19 have similar symptoms

Both covid-19 and influenza are respiratory infections and manifest themselves and are transmitted in similar ways. Symptoms can include a fever, coughing, fatigue, runny nose, sore throat and diarrhea according the World Health Organization (WHO). Additionally, those infected with either may experience muscle and body aches.

Individuals pass and catch both viruses through droplets and aerosols that are expelled from an infected person when they cough, sneeze, speak, sing or breath. People who are nearby, typically within three feet, may be infected when the droplets and aerosols land on the eyes, nose or mouth. Likewise, touching one’s eyes, nose or mouth without washing your hands after touching contaminated surfaces can lead to infection.

Health officials encourage maintaining social distancing, regular cleaning of hands and mask-wearing to help prevent the spread of covid-19 as well as the flu. The 2020-21 flu season saw much lower numbers than normal years, measures to prevent the spread of covid-19 are largely credited for the decrease in influenza cases last year helping to avoid a “twindemic.”

“Flurona” co-infection severity depends on individual’s immune system

Both influenza and covid-19 infections can be fatal, but the severity of each disease depends mainly on an individual’s immune system. Those with high levels of risk for getting infected for either the flu or covid-19 include healthcare workers, the elderly and those with underlying health conditions. Additionally, the WHO states that women who have just given birth have an elevated risk of severe infection from each disease.

However, co-infection with what has been dubbed Flurona doesn’t imply a more severe infection. The WHO says that vaccination against both viruses is most effective way to prevent hospitalization and severe illness from covid-19 and influenza.

The term “Flurona” is new but co-infection is not

Recently, there have been reports of individuals who have been infected by both covid-19 and the flu at the same time in Brazil, Hungary, Israel, the Philippines and the United States. But dual infection at the same time with each is not new and can occur with other viruses as well.

The Atlantic reported that it is becoming clear that co-infections happen all the time. According to the story in the spring of 2020 there were several cases of patients with both flu and covid-19 reported in the US.