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Flurona: COVID-19 meets the seasonal flu in 2022

An unvaccinated, pregnant Israeli woman was diagnosed with the country’s first known case of “flurona,” a simultaneous COVID-19 and seasonal flu infection

Primer caso de flurona en Israel
Primer caso de flurona en Israel | Shutterstock

January 3, 2022 4:07pm

Updated: January 3, 2022 7:03pm

An unvaccinated, pregnant Israeli woman was diagnosed with the country’s first known case of “flurona,” a simultaneous COVID-19 and seasonal flu infection, the Israeli news page Ynet reported on Monday.

According to The Times of Israel, the unidentified woman was diagnosed with the double infection after arriving at the Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikvah last week.

Reports of individuals contracting both illnesses first surfaced in the U.S. in the spring of 2020 but have since been a rare occurrence.

Despite the worrisome diagnosis, however, the Israeli mother reportedly experienced only mild symptoms of each, the New York Post reported.

“She was diagnosed with the flu and coronavirus as soon as she arrived,” said Arnon Vizhnitser, director of the Rabin Medical Center’s Gynecology Department.

But as cases of seasonal flu continue to rise in Israel, the Health Ministry has announced that it will study her case to see whether a combination of the two infections can lead to more severe illness.

“Last year, we did not witness flu cases among pregnant or birthing women,” Vizhnitser said. “Today, we are seeing cases of both coronavirus and the flu that are starting to rear their head.”

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced on Sunday that Israel will begin offering a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to people over age 60 and health care workers amid a surge in omicron variant cases.

“We now have a new layer of defense,” Bennett said in a televised news conference, Reuters reported. “Israel will once again be pioneering the global vaccination effort.”

The PM also urged all adults and children to get vaccinated, warning that cases could soon reach 50,000 per day in the coming days.

Israeli health officials reported 4,206 new COVID-19 infections over the past 24 hours and a 195 percent spike over the past week.