Wednesday, June 19, 2024

What is ‘Flurona’? What to know about co-infections of Covid-19 and the flu

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“Flurona” isn’t a new Covid-19 variant. Nor is it a new disease or any kind of medical term.

The word flurona has gained popularity as a way to describe the condition of testing positive for both Covid-19 and the flu at the same time. As flu season picks up in the U.S. and in other countries, some hospitals and Covid-19 testing sites in California and Texas in the U.S., and overseas in Israel are reporting instances of people having both influenza and Covid-19.

Co-infections of two separate respiratory diseases aren’t a new phenomenon—and reports of people testing positive for Covid-19 and the flu date to the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, infectious disease experts say.

Here’s what you need to know about flurona, or having both the flu and Covid-19 simultaneously.

What is “flurona”?

It is possible for a person to test positive for both the flu and Covid-19 at the same time, according to the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Flurona is an unofficial way to describe this, combining the words flu and coronavirus, according to a definition of the word published by Dictionary.com this week.

“This is not a new entity. We should not be hung up on these labels,” said Janak Patel, director of the division of infectious disease and immunology at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, where three patients have tested positive for both diseases. “We have seen virus co-infections all the time.”

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