” Flurona is a thoughtfully-named experience that can in truth occur. The influenza virus and the COVID-19 virus are different enough that theyre different variants and they both can happen at the very same time,” stated Dr. Mark Loafman, chair of family and community medication for Cook County Health.
Heres what we understand so far about “flurona” and what to anticipate.
Yes, its possible for somebody to be diagnosed with both flu and COVID at the very same time, medical professionals state. Cases of people who have evaluated positive for both viruses, in what has now been coined “flurona,” have actually been reported just recently.
Despite some false representations online, the infections have not combined to produce a brand-new health problem. They stay separate infections.
Have there been any cases in the Chicago area up until now?
Loafman stated testing is increasing in the Chicago area “for not simply COVID however for the entire breathing panel,” which might cause reporting of some “flurona” cases. He noted that screening for such cases is mostly done when a client is sick enough to need medical care.
Loafman stated while he does not understand of any cases in the Chicago area up until now, he envisions “there are most likely cases that have happened that we do not understand, have not checked for.”
” It does not seem to be common, however I would anticipate it would end up being more common as flu now is beginning to emerge,” he said in an interview Friday.
Will flurona trigger more serious illness than COVID?
” A co-infection of any kind can be extreme or aggravate your symptoms entirely,” stated Kristen Coleman, as assistant research study professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Health.
Professionals state the seriousness of a dual infection could trigger more extreme health problem, however thats not always the case.
” It certainly can be more severe when youre combating a double infection, however the symptoms are so comparable,” he stated.
What are the symptoms of flurona?
While the signs are almost similar, there can be subtle differences.
” One thing is the fever with flu, with influenza, tends to be a little higher, however thats subtle,” he said. Other than that, you understand, coughs, headaches, stuffy nose … congestion, some shortness of breath – those are all really, extremely typical for both influenza and COVID and I think for most of us, we wouldnt truly be able to inform the distinction.”
Whether you were exposed or simply arent feeling well, professionals state to presume that those who believe they may have a cold could have coronavirus, especially as cases of omicron surge nationwide, resulting in milder breakthrough infections.
” Were making most of those diagnoses scientifically,” he said.
According to Loafman, theres no clear way to discriminate between COVID or influenza – and no real way to inform if you have both.
Dr. Katherine Poehling, a contagious disease specialist and member of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, informed NBC News last month that a cough, congestion, runny nose and fatigue appear to be prominent symptoms with the omicron version. Unlike delta, many patients are not losing their taste or odor.
” If you believe its a cold, if you think its the flu, its probably COVID,” Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady stated in a press conference late last month. “We require you to remain home if youre not feeling well.”
The evidence up until now, according to Poehling, is anecdotal and not based on clinical research. She kept in mind also that these symptoms may only reflect specific populations.
Still, CDC information showed the most common signs, especially with omicron so far, are cough, tiredness, blockage and a runny nose.
Overall, the symptoms for COVID reported by the CDC consist of:
Fever or chillsCoughShortness of breath or trouble breathingFatigueMuscle or body achesHeadacheNew loss of taste or smellSore throatCongestion or runny noseNausea or vomitingDiarrhea
What should you do if you believe you have flurona?
How can you know if you need medical aid? Loafman said there are some signs to look for.
Its those who need treatment for the viruses that the diagnosis is most beneficial due to the fact that the method which the infections are dealt with is various, Loafman said.
” Shortness of breath, a fever that wont go away, unusual chest pain – those are all symptoms that actually require help,” Loafman said. “Most of the complications are breathing, so shortness of breath, hard breathing.”
Unless you feel sick sufficient to seek medical aid, Loafman said the guidance does not change.
” Follow the same assistance that weve been stating all along,” Loafman said. “Stay house, keep away from others, and if youre ill enough, if you satisfy requirements to require aid, then, you understand, the clinical setting will arrange out which screening to do.”
The CDC urges those who have or might have COVID-19 to expect emergency indication and seek treatment instantly if they experience symptoms consisting of:
Difficulty breathingPersistent pain or pressure in the chestNew confusionInability to wake or stay awakePale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone
” This list is not all possible symptoms,” the CDC states. “Please call your medical provider for any other signs that are severe or worrying to you.”
You can likewise alert the operator that you believe you or somebody you are taking care of has COVID.
Can you get tested for both COVID and flu?
At-home tests for flu arent as commonly available as those for COVID-19, however some drug stores provide testing for both viruses at the same time, Coleman said. Loafman argued, nevertheless, that such screening is most useful in a medical setting.
Laboratories might also have the ability to evaluate samples for different breathing infections, including common cold viruses. However many do not have the capacity to regularly do this, especially during a COVID-19 surge, Coleman said.
In health center setting, screening “for not simply COVID however for the whole respiratory panel” are increasing across the Chicago location, Loafman stated, which might lead to confirmation of “flurona” cases in Illinois. However he noted that screening for such cases is only done when a client is ill enough to require treatment.
That is especially important, Loafman said, as COVID testing lacks continue to be reported throughout Illinois and as hospitals battle a rising number of clients needing treatment.
” Dont hurry out and search for flu tests for yourself,” he stated. “Were not at the point yet where community-based testing is beneficial. Once again, thats really reserved for individuals sick enough to seek healthcare and where we need to sort out how finest to treat the ill client. Thats where flu screening truly can be found in.”
What about vaccinations for both?
” Its truly great to help people comprehend the safety of getting both vaccines simultaneously if youre going in,” Loafman stated. There are a couple of certain vaccines where we do stage it however for many of the vaccines, consisting of flu and COVID, take them as quickly as you can get them.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it is safe to get an influenza and COVID-19 shot or booster at the exact same time.
Simply like you can get both infections at the same, you can likewise get both vaccines at the very same time.
Loafman adds that while both vaccines may not avoid infection entirely, they can help prevent major disease from either virus.
When is the greatest risk duration for flurona cases?
” Every year is a little bit various when it ends,” he said. “It always stresses out at some point in the spring. Weve got three months and perhaps longer to go and there will be more cases and the more there is the more they spread and the more disease that well see.”
” Every year is a bit different when it ends,” he stated.
Loafman stated flu cases are expected to continue rising through winter and early spring, however each year is different.
Omicron COVID cases continue to rise to record levels in Illinois and throughout the country. Some specialists anticipate the variant could peak this month.
” One thing is the fever with influenza, with influenza, tends to be a little bit greater, but thats subtle,” he stated.” Dont rush out and try to discover influenza tests for yourself,” he said.” Its truly great to help people comprehend the security of getting both vaccines at the same time if youre going in,” Loafman said. There are a few specific vaccines where we do stage it but for most of the vaccines, consisting of flu and COVID, take them as quickly as you can get them.”