Co-infections of influenza and COVID-19 have been spotted in the U.S., making vaccination doubly important, according to USA Today.
Confirmed cases: Texas Children’s Hospital confirmed that a child had been infected with influenza A in addition to the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen that causes COVID-19. The patient did not require hospitalization and is recovering at home. Israel reported its first confirmed “flurona” case in an unvaccinated pregnant woman a few days ago.
Dual infection: Dual infections are rare because the influenza virus typically makes it harder for other viruses to enter the body and cause illness. While cold viruses make up the most commonly seen co-infection cases, the fast spread of the omicron variant at a time when the U.S. is approaching peak flu season makes it more likely that we will see rising numbers of COVID-19 and influenza co-infection cases.
Flurona forecast: Immunocompromised individuals may be at higher risk for “flurona,” as are children under the age of 5 whose immune systems are still unfamiliar with common viruses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only about 43% of children 6 months to 17 years have been vaccinated for the flu as of Dec. 4.
Don’t panic: Experts say existing treatment options should be able to tackle co-infections as they arise.
Get vaccinated: “It’s still unclear if ‘flurona’ causes more severe disease, but health experts don’t want to take any chances. They urge Americans to get vaccinated against both viruses as soon as possible.”