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WHNT – You may have heard the term ‘Flurona’ within the past few days but what exactly is it?

It’s an infection of the flu and the COVID-19 virus at the same time. The dual condition has raised some concerns among doctors.

Indeed, the term may be new but cases were reported back in 2020. Now the number of cases of Flurona is growing, and health experts are keeping an eye on who it infects. 

Doctors said that they have yet to see the flu make the COVID infections any worse but they say having the flu and the coronavirus at once may impede the immune system depending on your physical health. The higher risk groups have raised concern among health experts.  

“We know that Covid in itself can have high mortality and morbidity in patients with certain morbidities like obesity, hypertension, diabetes, kidney disease, lung disease, heart disease,” said Dr. Adi Shah, an Infectious Disease Expert with The Mayo Clinic.  

Dr. Shah says if you get Covid with those conditions, your body will develop inflammation and may not be able to fight both infections at the same time.

The first case of Flurona reported by the Mayo Clinic was in Los Angeles at a COVID testing site. The teenager was reportedly overweight and contracted COVID while on a family vacation.  

“The flu virus can get symptoms that are very similar to the coronavirus. The only way you can tell is to get a nasal swab that tests for both the flu and COVID. We do that frequently because this is winter and winter, we see flu,” said Dr. Shah.  

The flu virus and COVID-19 are from two very different virus families, but it concerns doctors because flu season is becoming more active as the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has been spreading. 

“It is not something that increases your chance of death you just have to manage it with medications that we know work both for the flu and for COVID,” said Shah.

Dr. Shah says getting the flu vaccine this season is more important than ever before especially during the month of January as COVID cases continue to climb in the state of Alabama.