‘Flurona’: What it is and the symptoms to look out for

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.

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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.

READ: How do I know if I have a cold, the flu or 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.

READ: Supreme Court halts COVID-19 vaccine rule for U.S. businesses

“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.

READ: Biden: Government to give out 1 billion free COVID-19 tests

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.

READ: Coronavirus: Moderna expects COVID-19 vaccine trial data for children aged 2-5 in March

“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.

See: 9 things to know about the new omicron COVID-19 variant

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.