In what is coming as a new development, ‘Florona’ or flu + Corona has been detected in a case in Israel. As per reports, it is said to be a major breakdown of one’s immunity as both the influenza virus and SARS-Cov-2 enter the body at the same time.
The reports say that the first case was of a pregnant woman who was admitted to a hospital for delivery. According to the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, the young woman was not vaccinated for both viruses.
This comes amid the rise in cases of Omicron and Delta variants. But it is not a new variant. It is the occurrence of flu and coronavirus at the same time which has been under study. As per Israeli doctors, the cases of influenza have seen a surge in the past few weeks.
What is Florona?
In fact, as per World Health Organization (WHO), it is “possible to catch both diseases at the same time”. “The most effective way to prevent hospitalisation and severe Covid-19 and influenza is vaccination with both vaccines,” the statement on WHO’s website reads.
As per mayoclinic.org, the viruses that cause Covid-19 and the flu spread in similar ways. They can both spread between people who are in close contact (within six feet, or two meters). The viruses spread through respiratory droplets or aerosols released through talking, sneezing, or coughing. These droplets can land in the mouth or nose of someone nearby or be inhaled. These viruses can also spread if a person touches a surface with one of the viruses on it and then touches his or her mouth, nose, or eyes.
Dr Shuchin Bajaj, founder-director, Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals mentions that the chances of “severity” are more as it can spread faster.
“Both the viruses can wreak havoc in the body which can lead to other diseases as well. This is why, it is a concern,” Dr Bajaj told indianexpress.com.
A spurt of Covid-19 and the flu together can lead to serious complications, as per mayoclinic.org. These can be namely pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, organ failure, heart attacks, heart or brain inflammation, stroke, and even death.
While symptoms can appear anywhere between three to four days for flu, it takes two to 14 days for coronavirus symptoms to appear. While symptoms for both include cough and cold, fever, runny nose, as per Dr P Venkat, Internal Medicine, Artemis Hospital the only difference is seen when the sample is sent for testing.
“A PCR test is done for flu where we test for the RNA (or Ribonucleic acid which is essential for any form of life) of the virus. For both the viruses, different PCR tests are done. The genotypes of both viruses are different. It can be differentiated only by lab tests,” commented Dr Venkat.
As per WHO, the most effective way to protect oneself from both influenza and severe Covid-19 is to get vaccinated with both influenza and Covid vaccines.
WHO also advises that people should continue to follow prevention measures, such as maintaining at least a one-metre distance from others, wearing a well-fitted mask when keeping your distance is not possible, avoiding crowded and poorly ventilated places and settings, opening windows and doors to keep rooms well ventilated and cleaning your hands frequently.