This is how healthcare workers test for influenza and COVID-19. When you get both at the same time, it’s called a coinfection. But this time the media clung to a nickname: “flurona”.
It all started with a headline in Israel, calling a pregnant woman with flu and COVID the country’s first case of flurona. Some misunderstood that this meant the very first case of the new disease.
It’s not. But social media and media picked up the name and got stuck. Dr Jonathan Grein helps sort out the problem. He is an infectious disease physician and director of hospital epidemiology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in LA.
A medical diagnosis of co-infection of any kind is not new. And at this point, Grein says the flu and COVID co-infections are nothing to panic about. “There doesn’t seem to be any major signal that getting infected with both is making you much sicker, but we just don’t know, and it’s too early to know,” said Grein. “Common sense would dictate that being infected with two things is certainly not good.”
Common symptoms to look for: dry cough, fever, sore throat, headache or body aches, and feeling of exhaustion. Co-infections are not the norm. Grein says his hospitals have only seen a few people with the flu and COVID at the same time. Like co-infections elsewhere in the country, all cases were mild and in younger patients.