Hospitals in the US have confirmed two cases of simultaneous flu and COVID-19 infections, which has been dubbed “flurona”. The first case was found this week in a child at the Texas Children’s Hospital on Monday. A test confirmed the child was infected with both the pathogens present in both influenza A and SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Fortunately, the child was not hospitalised due to minor symptoms and was reported to be recovering at home.
No details are known about the second case, aside from the fact that it was discovered in California on New Year’s Day at a mobile testing centre.
The patient was visiting the US on a family vacation from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
According to USA Today, health experts expect to see more “flurona” cases amid rapidly rising flu and coronavirus cases, the latter being driven by the highly contagious Omicron variant.
Dr Frank Esper, a physician at the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Center for Pediatric Infectious Diseases said: “I expect to see plenty of co-infections (of flu and COVID-19) going forward, but I don’t see anything that suggests it makes COVID infections worse.
“Those are two viral pathogens that we actually have medicines for.”
According to experts, Immunocompromised people are more vulnerable to these types of infections.
However, co-infections are more likely to occur in young children due to the fact that their immune system is still unfamiliar with many common viruses.