What is “flurona?” Co-infections increase nationwide

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URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — With more cases of the coronavirus, there’s also a nationwide increase of what people are calling “Flurona.”

“Flurona” is when you test positive for covid and influenza. A doctor from Carle says he hasn’t really seen it here, but it is something people are seeing nationwide.

“Colder months mean more time inside together, which is what will spread respiratory viruses,” Dr. Brent Reifsteck said.

While we’re seeing a surge of Covid-19, it’s also flu season.

“We didn’t see a lot of flu last year, but each flu season is a little different from the last, so we just kind of wait and see and see what we’re going to deal with,” Dr. Reifsteck said.

Most people are thinking about Covid, but you can still catch other illnesses. Sometimes, you can catch multiple viruses while having Covid at the same time.

“Anybody that has underlying conditions is going to be at higher risk, whether its one virus, two viruses or three that you catch at once,” Dr. Reifsteck said. “So the very best way is to protect those loved ones is to make sure you’re protected. You can’t give it to them if you can’t catch it.”

As omicron continues to make its way around the country, nationally, doctors are seeing “flurona,” a combination of covid and influenza.

“We aren’t seeing a lot of increased severity in any patients that have been reported so far in the country,” Dr. Reifsteck said.

Doctors here say they have not noticed people testing positive for both viruses at the same time, but, Doctor Brent Reifsteck says it can be hard to tell what sickness you have with omicron’s symptoms.

“We’re seeing that the symptoms aren’t exactly lining up with the previous variants, where things are a little more mild and more flu like,” Dr. Reifsteck said. “So it would be hard to determine the difference.”

He encourages people to get tested for both if you feel sick and says vaccination for both Covid and influenza are key to staying safe.

“The best defense is the same thing we’re already doing,” Dr. Reifsteck said. “Masking, distancing, handwashing and vaccinations so since we have vaccinations with both coronavirus and influenza this is largely preventable.”

He went on to say “flurona” does not seem to increase the severity of your illness in most cases.

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