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Move over Omicron and make room for “flurona,” a double dose of misery that encompasses both the seasonal flu and COVID-19 at the same time.
With many Americans gripped in panic amid the ongoing Omicron-influenced COVID-19 surge, and Democratic officials in many cities contemplating yet another lockdown, there’s a report out of Israel of an unvaccinated pregnant woman tested positive for both the flu and the coronavirus, with concerns of a “twindemic” being bandied about.
Turns out, the combination of the two illnesses is not exactly new, according to The Times of Israel.
“The two infections were found in an unvaccinated pregnant woman who had mild symptoms, Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva said,” the Israeli newspaper reported. “Some reports suggested this marked the first such dual case in the world, but reports of patients with both flu and COVID-19 surfaced in the US as early as spring 2020.”
Cases of influenza were minimal last winter but are more common this year, and the Times reported that Israel is experiencing a spike in flu cases, “with close to 2,000 people hospitalized amid fears of a ‘twindemic’ of the two diseases.”
While there is some concern that large numbers of flu cases and COVID-19 cases could overwhelm hospitals, the article noted that not many individuals will be infected with both viruses at the same time and that the identified case of “flurona” was relatively mild. The Times did not identify the coronavirus variant that was involved.
“The disease is the same disease. They’re viral and cause difficulty breathing since both attack the upper respiratory tract,” said Arnon Vizhnitser, the gynecology department director at Beilinson Hospital.
Flu accounts for 600,000 to 800,000 hospitalizations and 50,000 to 60,000 deaths on average every year, according to Fox News.
The network reported that Dr. Anthony Fauci warned in October 2020 that “there’s considerable concern as we enter the fall and winter months and into the flu season that we’ll have that dreaded overlap.”
Instead, flu cases nationwide dropped to the lowest levels in decades — some experts said remediation strategies employed to counter COVID-19 played a role in the drop off.
Covid-weary social media users do not appear to be thrilled about enduring yet another wave of media-induced panic that’s sure to come if there’s a sudden surge in the number of combined cases of flu and coronavirus.
Here’s a small sampling of the responses to the story from Twitter:
Why does everything have to be named. Just say the person got both
— Eric Ericsson (@TreyTheWizard7) January 4, 2022
I’m boosted on Covid and vaccinated for the flu but this was a fear I had. The flu was oddly gone last year so hopefully it doesn’t cause a worse strain merging with Covid.
— CortezAngels2 (@Angels2Cortez) January 4, 2022
Yeah, no, sorry. Not gonna do “My Flurona.”
— Al Yankovic (@alyankovic) January 3, 2022
— ❤Thoni❤ (@ThonisileG) January 1, 2022
El Ómicron La Flurona pic.twitter.com/ZRzrAvvCed
— ℜ ♠️ (@cop0nbendito) January 1, 2022
Flurona my a$$ pic.twitter.com/nbFmLlWVNN
— Nanna (@monsterrit) January 2, 2022
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