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Beware of the double whammy, “Flurona”

What the heck is “Flurona?” A person infected with both the flu and COVID-19 at the same time has Flurona, according to health officials.

Texas Children’s Hospital announced this week a child has been diagnosed with flurona. Tests confirmed the patient was infected with influenza A and SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Fortunately, the child was not hospitalized and is recovering at home, the hospital said. No other details were given.

“This is one confirmed case and, of course, 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,” Dr. Jim Versalovic, pathologist-in-chief and COVID-19 command center co-leader at the hospital, told reporters Monday.

This seems to confirm what medical experts in the U.S. have been warning about this winter, a potential “twindemic.” They’re urging Americans to get a flu shot and vaccinated or boosted against COVID-19.

But there’s no specific treatment or vaccine for RSV, so experts speculate children with “flurona” may experience better outcomes.

In addition to life-saving vaccines to prevent severe illness, he said, health care providers are prepared to treat the infections simultaneously with Tamiflu and remdesivir.

Immunocompromised people are vulnerable to these infections, but co-infections are more likely to occur in young children, experts say, as their immune system is still unfamiliar with many of these common viruses.