Health officials are encouraging everyone to get vaccinated, but not just for COVID-19.
Some patients are being infected by influenza and coronavirus at the same time, the combination is being called “Flurona.”
The term “Flurona” has been circulating, but health officials want you to know it is not a new virus.
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“‘Flurona’ is just a combination name for the flu and coronavirus it’s really not one virus it’s two viruses,” EMS Medical Direction Dr. Todd Husty said.
It means a patient is infected by both influenza and COVID-19 simultaneously.
The first known case was detected at a testing site in Los Angeles this week, another case was reported in Cape Coral.
“We’re bound to see more flu and we’re seeing a lot more omicron,” Husty said.
He said the two viruses together, can cause severe illness, but no more than what several people have already experienced.
“Not fun, not fun at all, but it’s no more cause for alarm than where we were before, it’s just really you don’t want to get both,” Husty said.
Doctors are saying both viruses impact the upper respiratory system.
“Quite separate viruses but they like to attack the same part of the body. The back of the throat, behind the nose, and down into the lungs where they both can create serious complications,” a professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center Dr. William Schaffner said.
The Florida Department of Health last reported influenza levels remained low across the state, but there is an increasing trend.
Omicron cases are continuing to rise. The CDC reported 76,887 cases of COVID-19 in Florida as of Jan. 6.
Doctors are encouraging everyone to wear masks and get vaccinated.
“The unvaccinated both for the flu and the coronavirus for [COIVD-19] get worse cases and if you’re not vaccinated for either one and you happen to get them both you’re really playing with fire,” Husty said.
According to doctors, you likely will not know if you have the flu coupled with coronavirus unless you go to a clinic. COVID-19 tests do not detect influenza.