Alert as 170 cases of “flurone” detected in England, flurone covid 18th January 2022 – Posted in: Virus – Tags: COVID-19, flurone
Many will ask “flurone covid what it is”, and although there is not much information yet, according to the Israeli Ministry of Health, it is a simultaneous infection of COVID-19 and influenza. The word Flurone covid is a combination of influenza and rona, a contraction of the coronavirus, although it is not a scientific name. So far, there is no evidence that patients who contracted this dual infection have had more severe symptoms.
“Although the activity of the “flurona” case remains low, this could change in the next few weeks. Doctors have expressed concern about the health consequences of contracting Covid-19 and seasonal influenza at the same time.
Between late April and early December 2021, more than 170 cases of people with “flurona” were detected in England. And data from the first waves of the pandemic suggest that people infected with both viruses at the same time fare worse than people with either virus separately.
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Although the number of seasonal flu cases has been low for much of the pandemic, as transmission was reduced by the use of masks and social distancing, experts expect this winter to be the first time it has circulated alongside the covirus.
Professor Iain Buchan, dean of the Institute of Population Health at the University of Liverpool, said: “Anyone infected by two viruses, or by a virus and a bacterium – in this case, two viruses, influenza and coronavirus – is more worrying.
“The body has defence mechanisms that will attack these organisms individually and separately, so there are sort of general lines of defence and more inflammatory chemicals that mobilise the body’s immune system.”
The UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA) warned that while flu activity remains low, this could change in the coming weeks. Almost a third of patients admitted with severe respiratory failure due to covirus at the five specialist respiratory ECMO centres in England were also infected with other viruses. These co/secondary infections account for only 0.02% of coviral cases, but the UKHSA notes that “underestimation of other pathogens may lead to underestimation of cases of co/secondary infections”.
Professor Buchan explained: “People haven’t got that mixed up, but last year we had some nasty cases of respiratory syncytial virus. It’s not just about flu.
“Respiratory syncytial virus is really nasty for children, but covirus is not, so those combinations are very complicated.”
One of the main concerns about simultaneous cases of flu and covirus is that both viruses are spread through airborne particles, meaning that an infected person can transmit both to close contacts, who can then infect others.
This could wreak havoc on already stretched healthcare workers if covirus and flu cases increase at the same time.
However, Professor Buchan described the term “flurona” as “misleading”.
He explained: “If you get infected with one virus, you’re more likely to get infected with a bacterium – like if you have a chest infection as well as flu – than another virus, because the body is doing an antiviral thing, and it’s responding to the first one, so you’re less likely to get the second one.
“So that makes ‘flurona’ a misleading term.