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‘Flurona’ Emerges as COVID’s Next Big Production

'It's obviously not good to be infected with two viruses rather than one, but there's no clear indication that this is a particularly bad combination... '

The resurgence of flu cases, which took a hiatus earlier in the pandemic, has experts worried about cases of so-called “flurona,” where patients have both the COVID virus and the flu at the same time, reported the Washington Post.

“While the word [flurona] is relatively new and rising in popularity, cases of flu and covid-19 co-infections are not,” said the Post. “Flurona instances have been detected in countries including the United States, Israel, Brazil, the Philippines and Hungary, some even before the term was coined.”

But some medical experts theorize that previously the COVID-19 virus crowded out the common flu virus, which seemed to disappear last year. Now that the flu is making the reappearance, experts are worried about coinfection.

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“It has not been a big issue for us because of the low levels of influenza circulating in the community,” Dr. Jonathan Grein, director of Hospital Epidemiology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, told the hospital’s website according to ABCNews.

“It’s obviously not good to be infected with two viruses rather than one, but there’s no clear indication that this is a particularly bad combination,” Grein added.

One expert in Israel cautions that the absence of the flu last year has made populations more vulnerable as flu makes a comeback.

“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,” Nadav Davidovitch, director of the School of Public Health at Ben-Gurion University in Israel, told CNN.

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Just like with infections of the COVID virus alone, the only answer health experts have to prevent co-infection is to get vaccinated against both the flu and COVID.

“It’s still unclear if ‘flurona’ causes more severe disease, but health experts don’t want to take any chances,” reported USAToday. “They urge Americans to get vaccinated against both viruses as soon as possible.”

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