Flurona: What do we know about the mixture of Covid and influenza found in Israel

A young pregnant woman in Israel has reportedly been diagnosed with both coronavirus and influenza at the same time with the rare double infection aptly called “flurona.”

After identifying the two viruses on Thursday, December 30 at the Rabin Medical Center (Ichilov) in Petach Tikva, the hospital disclosed the woman is unvaccinated against both Covid and the flu.

The hospital also stated that she is showing some mild symptoms and is expected to be discharged from the hospital later on Thursday.

To gain further understanding on whether contracting the two viruses simultaneously can cause more serious symptoms and illness, the Health Ministry is currently reviewing the case as health officials predict more patients have contracted both illnesses but remain undiagnosed.

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So, what do we know about ‘Flurona’

Prof. Arnon Vizhnitser an obstetrics and gynaecology specialist and the director of the hospital’s Gynecology Department spoke to local news outlet Hamodia to discuss the double infection that has emerged.

“Last year, we did not witness flu cases among pregnant or birthing women. Today, we are seeing cases of both coronavirus and the flu that are starting to rear their head,” said Prof. Vizhnitser said.

“We are seeing more and more pregnant women with the flu. It is definitely a great challenge dealing with a woman who comes in with a fever at childbirth.

“This is especially when you do not know if it’s coronavirus or the flu, so you refer to them the same. Most of the illness is respiratory.”

In terms of symptoms and how a person gets infected Prof. Vizhnitser explained: “The disease is the same disease; they’re viral and cause difficulty breathing since both attack the upper respiratory tract.”

He also noted how the pregnant woman was diagnosed with both viruses.

“She was diagnosed with the flu and coronavirus as soon as she arrived. Both tests came back positive, even after we checked again,” he said.

Elsewhere, Israel became the first country to give the green light to vaccinate people with a fourth round of vaccinations for the immunosuppressed, The Times of Israel reported

As of Friday, December 31, the latest data from the Health ministry showed that 5,000 cases were recorded and since the pandemic began there have been 1,376,256 infections and 8,243 coronavirus-related deaths reported in the country.

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