You may have seen headlines about “flurona,” a buzzy term used to describe what happens when a patient is infected with COVID-19 and the seasonal flu at the same time.
But as scary as it sounds, Dr. Lucy McBride – a physician in Washington, DC who is also a medical contributor to Yahoo News – says there is little cause for alarm. Here’s what you need to know about flurona as US COVID cases continue to rise
Yahoo News: What Does the Term “Flurona” Mean?
dr. Lucy McBride: So “flurona” isn’t even a medical term, but I think people are talking about someone who is infected with the coronavirus and the flu at the same time. It is not a new variant of the coronavirus. In fact, it’s not at all new that people can be infected with two viruses at the same time – in this case, coronavirus and the flu.
How common are flu and coronavirus co-infections?
It is quite unusual to get two viruses at the same time. It’s like lightning strikes twice, but of course anything is possible.
Is it possible to combine the flu virus and COVID-19 into one virus?
It’s certainly possible that coronavirus and flu could mix, but it hasn’t happened yet. However, we see that some people get infected with both viruses. The key is to get vaccinated against both.
Is it particularly dangerous to get the flu and COVID-19 at the same time?
It is definitely not ideal to have either coronavirus or the flu, and both together is definitely not good. But again, I’ll tell my patients what I’m telling you, which is to get vaccinated against both viruses.
Can you get the flu shot and the COVID-19 vaccination or booster at the same time?
You can absolutely get the COVID shot and the flu shot on the same day.
What are some symptoms of flu and coronavirus co-infection?
What’s interesting is that the flu and the coronavirus have many of the same symptoms: sore throat, body aches, fever, fatigue. If you have any of these symptoms, or if you have been exposed to someone with those symptoms, call your doctor and get tested if you are symptomatic.