ORLANDO, Fla. — As if omicron isn’t enough, some people have been coming down with both COVID-19 and the flu together.
“Flurona,” as it’s been nicknamed, is popping up in Central Florida.
It’s not a new variant or new disease, but doctors say both viruses have become so common, it’s very possible to be infected with both since your immune system is down and one can lead to the other.
Internal specialist Dr. Aftab Kahn said he’s decided to move to nearly 90% telemedicine after several staff members and patients came down with COVID-19.
Kahn said 50% of COVID-19 transmissions, especially with omicron, happens before a patient develops any symptoms.
“So we have to be very careful,” he said.
Flurona adds to the risk. Khan said it can be a serious one-two punch.
“When you have both together it can cause pneumonia, fluid in the lungs, and even respiratory failure,” Khan said.
Because of the scarcity of testing, Kahn said it’s hard to even know how many people may be carrying COVID-19, let alone both viruses.
Fortunately, he said symptoms of the two are very similar, which means they’re usually mild, with the loss of smell and taste setting them apart.
Treatment is also the same, which includes rest, isolation and fluids. But Kahn said one should be concerned if any breathing issues develop.
“If your symptoms are getting worse and you are having trouble breathing, then you need to call the emergency room as soon as possible or contact your physician,” Khan said.
Doctors say that while flurona is usually mild, the elderly and kids are especially vulnerable to experiencing complications, especially those with underlying conditions.
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