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Israel records first case of ‘flurona’—a rare disease that combines influenza and coronavirus together

By Brooke Villanueva Published Jan 02, 2022 2:50 pm

From corona to flurona

Israel has recorded the very first case of “flurona,” which is a rare combination of two diseases: coronavirus and influenza. 

Daily Mail reported that both COVID-19 and influenza have been detected in a young pregnant woman—who hasn’t been vaccinated against COVID-19, as per The Times of Israel—at Beilinson Hospital in Petach Tikva, Israel. 

She “was diagnosed with the flu and coronavirus as soon as she arrived. Both tests came back positive, even after we checked again,” the hospital’s gynecology department director Professor Arnon Vizhnitser told a local newspaper. “The disease is the same disease. They’re viral and cause difficulty breathing since both attack the upper respiratory tract.” 

Showing only mild symptoms, the patient is expected to be discharged from the medical facility on Thursday, Jan. 6. Isreali health experts are looking into her case to check whether or not the rare mixture can cause severe illness. 

Doctors have expressed their belief that there could be more infections of the same kind in the country. “We are seeing more and more pregnant women with the flu. It is definitely a great challenge dealing with a woman who comes in with a fever at childbirth,” Vizhnitser said. “This is especially when you do not know if it’s coronavirus or the flu, so you refer to them the same. Most of the illness is respiratory.” 

According to Reuters’ COVID-19 Tracker, a total of 1,376,256 cases with 8,243 deaths has been recorded in Israel since the coronavirus pandemic began.

In late December, the country became one of the first countries to approve a fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose for immunocompromised individuals amid a coronavirus surge fueled by the Omicron variant.