What does it mean to get the flu and COVID at the same time?

Infection by coronavirus and flu at the same time is called ‘flurona’ and there are already cases detected in Spain. Experts have called for calm because the diagnosis, named after the union of flu (“flu” in English) and “corona”, is unlikely and does not have to be more serious.

“In coinfection, the patient you will not notice anything different to those who have the infection only by COVID-19, “explains Julio García, from the Infectious Diseases Service of the La Paz Hospital in Madrid, to a team from the Newscast.

Furthermore, for epidemiologists such as Juan Gestal, the finding is “good news”, because it would indicate that the coronavirus “is weakening”. Since the pandemic began it has been the dominant virus and “did not let others circulate”, now, instead, they could be beginning to coexist. “This may be the beginning of the end of the pandemic,” he ventured.

A documented case in Israel sparks interest in ‘flurone’

In Israel, the first documented patient with coronavirus and flu it was notified this weekend at the Beilinson hospital in Petah Tikva, a town on the outskirts of Tel Aviv. It is about a pregnant woman who was not vaccinated. With mild symptoms of these diseases, doctors tested him for both viruses and both came back positive.

Although it is the first Israeli notification that has attracted media attention, co-infection with COVID and flu is nothing new. The National Flu Center of Valladolid warned this Sunday through Twitter. “There have been many before, and it is relatively frequent to detect them right now,” reads the tweet, in which an article is shared that analyzes data from various investigations in this regard around the world, published in June 2021. Their authors consider that is still necessary more information to “assess the exact risk”, especially in vulnerable and elderly patients.

Specialists consider that there are and will be more cases with both infections at the same time, although they are not always confirmed by tests. As stated by the World Health Organization, each of these diseases by themselves have similar symptomssuch as cough, runny nose, sore throat, fever, headache, and fatigue, even if they are different viruses.

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In our country, patients with ‘flurone’ have been detected at least in Galicia and Catalonia. As explained by the director of the Catalan Health Service, Gemma Craywinckel, these are anecdotal cases, which are neither serious nor require a specific approach.

This is not a new disease

Experts remind you that getting COVID and another infection It is not a new disease nor does it represent a recombination of the virus. Although it is something rare, it can happen when many people are infected, because the chances of contagion increase.

In fact, cases of mixed infections have been detected in other countries, with different viruses involved, in addition to the coronavirus: influenza, the respiratory syncytial virus that causes bronchiolitis in children, the common cold rhinovirus, adenovirus … This is possible because “they have different receptors and enter the cell in different ways,” according to the microbiologist Julio García.

However, the health authorities insist that they are valid the usual measurementsFor both flu and COVID-19: good ventilation, masks and, of course, the vaccines that exist respectively to prevent serious forms of these diseases.

“It can be caught while being vaccinated, but it is unlikely and the clinical picture will be very slight”, Juan Pablo Horcajada, Head of the Infectious Diseases Service of the Hospital del Mar in Barcelona. As with the two conditions separately, the greatest risk lies with the elderly and vulnerable patients due to other pathologies.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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