Cases of what is being called “flurona,” a contracting of the influenza and coronavirus simultaneously, are starting to pop up in the United States and abroad.
Add Los Angeles to the list after a teenage boy tested positive at the COVID-19 testing center near the Getty Center, CBS Los Angeles reported on Wednesday (Jan. 5). The testing site, operated by 911 COVID Testing, began checking people for both viruses after people with a negative COVID-19 test began returning after still having symptoms.
The patient has mild symptoms and is in “good spirits” while recovering at home, his mother stated. He and his family had recently visited Mexico. One of his parents test positive for COVID-19, but he was the only family member to contract both COVID-19 and the flu.
In late December, Israel confirmed its first case of “flurona,” which was detected in an unvaccinated pregnant woman, The Times of Israel reported. Meanwhile, health care providers are monitoring flurona in Texas after officials confirmed the first case on Jan. 3 at the Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, according to KXAN.
Nadav Davidovitch, director of the School of Public Health at Ben-Gurion University in Israel, told CNN that because of both high influenza and COVID activity there will be incidents of people being infected with both. "I don't think this is going to be a common situation, but that's something to consider," he said. "It's interesting that after you have a year with a very, very low or not at all influenza activity, the next year because people were less exposed, it makes them more vulnerable."
The symptoms of the COVID-19 omicron variant and the flu are similar. They include respiratory illness, weakness and sniffles, Steve Farzam of 911 COVID Testing told CBS Los Angeles.
Dr. Otto Yang, an infectious disease expert for UCLA Health, told the local station that there’s no cause for alarm. It’s a reminder to follow safety protocols of wearing a mask, social distancing and staying at home if sick.
For the latest on the coronavirus, check out BET’s blog on the virus, and contact your local health department or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.