BEIJING, Jan 5 — Flurona, a newly-coined term to describe a double infection with both COVID-19 and influenza, has aroused wide public concern over the potential symptoms and impact the two infections might jointly cause.

The term came in the spotlight after an unvaccinated pregnant woman in her 30s tested positive for both diseases in Israel on Thursday, which is the world’s first recorded case, according to Xinhua.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), both COVID-19 and influenza are respiratory diseases that can cause similar symptoms including a cough, a sore throat, a runny nose, fever and headache. Likewise, the two diseases can be spread through droplets and aerosols when an infected person breathes, coughs or sneezes.

The infected woman, showing mild symptoms, was treated with a drug combination that targets both COVID-19 and the flu, and was discharged from hospital on Thursday, according to medics at Beilinson Hospital in Israel’s Petah Tikva city.

So far, the exact symptoms and the rate of mortality flurona might cause remain unclear. Scientists are still studying how it will possibly spread and the severity of the new double contagion.

Yet medical workers are worried that the emergence of flurona will impose more pressure on the already heavily-burdened public healthcare systems around the world.

Meanwhile, flurona has also sparked increasing calls for more people to get vaccinated and comply with other protective measures against COVID-19 and influenza, including social distancing, regular hand cleaning and travel restrictions.


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