THE first cases of “flurona” – a mix of flu and Covid – have been diagnosed in children in the US who have mild symptoms.
Experts say kids may be more likely to fall sick with the combo because they swap bugs between them “like trading cards”.
The first case of flurona was discovered in a young pregnant woman in Israel earlier this week.
Flu and Covid can both cause very serious illness, and experts have previously warned you are twice as likely to die with dual infection than with Covid alone.
While the two winter illnesses are not new, "flurona" has recently been coined to describe infection with both simultaneously.
But you can be vaccinated against both, with booster shots the most optimal protection against Covid, inducing Omicron.
The Sun's Jabs Army campaign is helping get the vital extra Covid shots in Brits' arms, with all adults eligible.
One of the children with flurona was diagnosed at Texas Children's Hospital on Monday.
The child was not hospitalised and is said to be recovering at home, USA Today reported. No other details have been given.
Most read in Health
STOP THE SURGE
UK won't feel normal for at least a MONTH as masks & work rules remain
STOP THE SURGE
Top 20 Omicron symptoms revealed as major study pinpoints signs to watch for
I caught Covid & ended up in coma, lost my hair and had to learn to walk again
Daily cases fall to 194k as 3.7m infected last week but 'London outbreak slowing'
Dr Jim Versalovic, pathologist-in-chief and COVID-19 command center co-leader at the hospital, told reporters Monday: “We’ll be working with our colleagues across the country to see if there are more cases and whether we will see a distinct pattern in these cases.”
The second case was discovered in Brentwood, California on New Year's Day, according to NBC Los Angeles.
The patient, a teenager from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, was visiting the US on a family vacation and was tested at a mobile centre.
Steve Farzam, CEO of 911 COVID testing which discovered the case, said: "Some very mild symptoms, almost could be easily confused with sinusitis."
Although these are the first cases officially reported, LA County officials say they have seen flurona before and it is likely to become more common.
The number one predisposition for having more than one virus at the same time is your age, and it's really children under five
Dr Frank Esper, a physician at the Cleveland Clinic Children's Center for Pediatric Infectious Diseases, believes it will be mostly seen in children.
He said: “I expect to see plenty of co-infections going forward, but I don't see anything that suggests it makes Covid infections worse.
“Those are two viral pathogens that we actually have medicines for.
“Hands down, the number one predisposition for having more than one virus at the same time is your age, and it's really children under five.
“They all have virus[es] running rampant and swap them like trading cards.”
Dr Esper also said that children’s immune systems are often exposed to viruses for the first time during their early years.
But Covid has proven to be very mild in children. There have been less than 10 deaths in the UK in youngsters.
Flu also tends to be mild in children. Although it can lead to the lung infection pneumonia and in some cases, the flu can lead to death.
It comes after a woman in Israel was the first reported in the world to have flurona.
The young Israeli – who is pregnant and unvaccinated – presented mild symptoms when she was tested at Beilinson Hospital in Petach Tikva.
Experts in Israel are claiming other patients have already contract the two viruses but have not been diagnosed.
Professor Arnon Vizhnitser director of the hospitals' Gynecology Department, said the woman had not experienced any severe or unusual symptoms.
But he warned that, in Israel, they are seeing more and more women getting sick with the flu at a time when Covid cases are high.
Flu levels have remained low globally since the pandemic, due to a lack of social mixing.
But this winter, with many more countries opening up over the colder months, there is more chance infections will be higher.
That coupled with the fast spread of Omicron around the world, although milder and can be beaten by boosters, means it is likely more cases of the double infection will emerge.
He said: “Last year, we did not witness flu cases among pregnant or birthing women.
"Today, we are seeing cases of both coronavirus and the flu that are starting to rear their head.
"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.
"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."
Brits have previously been urged to get their Covid and flu vaccines to dodge dual infection.
More than 80 per cent are double vaccinated, and 60 per cent are triple-jabbed.
UK Health Security Agency chief executive Dr Jenny Harries said in October immunity from vaccines wanes in some older people.
She also warned the types of strains of flu for this winter were uncertain, due to outbreaks being non-existent in the past couple of years.
Dr Harries told Sky: “The risks of catching both together still remain. And if you do that, then early evidence suggests that you are twice as likely to die from having two together, than just having Covid alone.”
Symptoms of Covid and flu
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
- Fever or feeling feverish
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children)
Source: Read Full Article