NEW YORK, NY (CBS Newspath)- Los Angeles detected its first case of what some are calling “flurona” at the Getty Center testing site. It’s not a new virus, it means a patient is infected with both the flu and the coronavirus at the same time. “Flurona is a compound word. It’s influenza – flu – and rona – which is the ending for coronavirus,” says Steve Farzam, chief operating officer of 911 COVID Testing.
The patient was a teenage boy who tested positive for both viruses with mild symptoms. His family of five had just arrived home from a trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. “The child is in good spirits, and at home, and doing well,” says Farzam.
Last year’s flu season saw the lowest number of cases on record with much of the country in lockdown. But this year is different. “Influenza is indeed waking up in all parts of the country,” says Dr. William Schaffner from Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Dr. Schaffner tells us the flu is back, just as the COVID-19 Omicron variant is surging. “Quite separate viruses but they like to attack the same part of the body. The back of the throat, behind the nose, and down into the lungs where they both can create serious complications,” he says.
Israel was first to report a case of simultaneous infections, a pregnant woman in her 30s who has since recovered. Doctors are bracing for more.
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“We have cases of influenza. And on top of that now, we’re going to have Omicron and the combination is probably going to be quite overwhelming,” says Dr. Nadav Davidovitch from the Israeli National Advisory Committee on COVID.
With rising cases of the flu and COVID, health officials are asking the public to get vaccinated against both.