ORLANDO, Fla. – As if omicron weren’t enough, some people have contracted both COVID-19 and the flu.
“Flurona”, as it has been nicknamed, is popping up in central Florida.
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It’s not a new variant or disease, but doctors say both viruses have become so common that it’s very possible to get infected with both because your immune system is broken and one can train the other.
In-house specialist Dr Aftab Kahn said he decided to move to almost 90% telemedicine after several staff and patients came down with COVID-19.
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Kahn said 50% of COVID-19 transmissions, especially with omicron, occur before a patient develops symptoms.
“So we have to be very careful,” he said.
Flurona adds to the risk. Khan said it could be a serious punch.
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“When you have the two together, it can cause pneumonia, fluid in the lungs, and even respiratory failure,” Khan said.
Due to the paucity of testing, Kahn said it’s difficult to even know how many people might carry COVID-19, let alone both viruses.
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Fortunately, he said the symptoms of the two are very similar, meaning they’re usually mild, with loss of smell and taste setting them apart.
Treatment is also the same, which includes rest, isolation, and fluids. But Kahn said there was concern if breathing problems developed.
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“If your symptoms get worse and you have trouble breathing, you should call 911 as soon as possible or contact your doctor,” Khan said.
Doctors say that although flurona is generally mild, the elderly and children are particularly vulnerable to complications, especially those with underlying conditions.
See: 9 things to know about the new omicron COVID-19 variant
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