FLURONA

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India Smith, Staff Writer

As of the last few months of 2021 and early 2022, Corona cases have been on the rise, specifically in the southern part of the United States as well as the states along the east coast and the midwest. People are being lax and not as serious about wearing their masks this far into the Corona pandemic, so the spread of COVID, as well as other common winter illnesses like the common cold, bronchitis, and the flu have been spreading rapidly. Though COVID precautions have greatly helped to reduce the annual number of flu cases for the 2020-2021 flu season, people are now starting to develop symptoms for both the Corona Virus and the flu at the same time. Hence the term “flurona” was coined. 

 Patients who have both COVID-19 and the flu simultaneously are in for a hard time since both of these illnesses attack the person’s upper respiratory system. Symptoms for both the flu and the COVID-19 virus are very similar, so it is hard to tell which one a patient might have. Some of the symptoms include: fever, sore throat, headaches, runny nose, congestion, and muscle aches.  

One of the first cases of this mixed virus was reported in Israel on December 30, 2021. It was a pregnant woman who was reportedly unvaccinated. When she arrived at the hospital, she had tested positive for both COVID-19 and flu. The “Beilinson Hospital doctors described [her symptoms] as mild” (Bink “Here are the symptoms of flurona and how to tell if you have it”).

 She was released from the hospital in “good condition” on the same day (Bink “Here are the symptoms of flurona and how to tell if you have it”). The female patient was one of the first people reported in Israel with the double virus, but these cases are picking up speed in the United States. One of the first cases reported in the U.S. was in the state of California with Texas and Kansas following shortly after. Medical experts say that the “arrival of flurona cases may be attributed to the massive surge in Omicron cases, as the variant currently accounts for 95% of the country’s COVID infections” (Marquardt “Flurona’ has hit the U.S. Here’s what it is and the symptoms”). The same experts are saying that a few ways to avoid a severe reaction to the illness is to get vaccinated and get booster shots for COVID-19, as well as getting an annual flu shot. Following social distancing guidelines and continuing to wear a mask in public areas are also a “a crucial way to avoid catching either disease”(Marquardt “Flurona’ has hit the U.S. Here’s what it is and the symptoms”). It is important to stay vigilant and try to be as safe as possible in these hard times.