What Is ‘Flurona,’ and Should We Be Worried About It?

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COVID-19 and the flu are each respiratory viruses that may be wherever from annoying to life-threatening, and public well being specialists have been frightened about what would possibly occur if each develop into widespread on the similar time (the dreaded “twindemic”). Moreover their particular person tolls on the healthcare system, there’s additionally the fear that individuals would possibly get each on the similar time.

That’s what has occurred within the headline-grabbing circumstances of some individuals who have what’s being known as “flurona.” Regardless of the underlying tone of panic, there’s one factor you want to know: that is not a brand new illness.

What is flurona?

Flurona isn’t a factor, okay? Regardless of the singular title, it’s not a hybrid of the 2 viruses. It merely signifies that one particular person is contaminated with these two viruses on the similar time. (It’s additionally not a scientific or medical time period, only a title concocted to sound scary, like “homicide hornets.”)

It’s like should you stepped in canine poop after which a chicken pooped on you an identical day. It might suck and it could be a wierd coincidence, but it surely’s not some particular new mutant poop tragedy.

The circumstances of influenza and SARS-CoV-2 coinfection (which is what it’s actually known as) usually are not a brand new phenomenon; there have been circumstances even in early 2020. We additionally know that lately there have been circumstances in California, Texas, and Florida, two pregnant ladies had latest coinfections in Israel, and Brazil has at the least six latest circumstances, in line with the Washington Submit.

Most places usually are not testing for COVID and flu on the similar time, nor monitoring coinfections, so we don’t but know if they’re getting extra frequent. One factor to recollect is that flu circumstances have been very low final yr, due to elevated masking and distancing in comparison with earlier years. Flu circumstances are already rather a lot increased than final yr and searching extra like a typical season, so it could be affordable to count on extra coinfections this yr than final yr.

What does this imply for me?

A very powerful takeaway is that it’s vital to be vaccinated in opposition to COVID and the flu. Among the coinfections have been in individuals who had their COVID shot however not a latest flu shot. Getting your flu shot is a straightforward step that may assist shield you in opposition to coinfection. When you’re heading in for a COVID shot or booster, you possibly can even get a flu shot the identical day.

Neither vaccine is 100% efficient, however every offers vital safety in opposition to its virus. And each make you much less prone to have critical issues should you do get contaminated.

Los Angeles County, which had a latest coinfection case that has been within the headline, gives mixed COVID and flu testing at a few of its testing places. Mixed assessments can be found at another testing labs; think about getting considered one of these assessments in case you are feeling notably sick and if these assessments can be found to you. (It’s additionally potential to get separate assessments for each; ask your physician should you can’t discover one.) The signs of each circumstances are related sufficient that you may’t inform the distinction simply from signs.


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