As the country battles the fast-spreading Omicron variant, the first case of “flurona” — a co-infection of the flu and COVID-19 — was confirmed. As multiple news outlets reported, the case was detected at the Getty Center testing site in Brentwood, Los Angeles.
The patient — a teenage boy — had just returned from a weeklong family trip to San Cabo Lucas, Mexico. He was the only one in his family to experience symptoms (a runny nose) and test positive for flurona and the first in the United States to be diagnosed with the illness. One of his parents did, however, contract COVID-19. Neither of them was vaccinated.
“This is the first one that we’re aware of,” Steve Farzam of 911 COVID Testing said of the novel case. “In and of itself, it’s not overly concerning; however, it is concerning and can be problematic for someone who has preexisting medical conditions, anyone who is immunocompromised.”
The boy is reportedly “in good spirits and at home and doing well.”
The teen’s diagnosis comes on the heels of the first-ever reported case in Israel. Per the Times of Israel, an unvaccinated pregnant woman with mild symptoms tested positive for both the flu and Coronavirus. She’s since been discharged from the hospital and is in good condition.
According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, the flu and COVID-19 are respiratory illnesses with similar symptoms. Testing is the only way to confirm the correct diagnosis. The World Health Organization encourages vaccinations for both to prevent hospitalizations and severe illness.
The WHO has also been monitoring another COVID-19 variant, IHU, which was detected in France. The person, who was fully vaccinated, tested positive after returning from a three-day trip to Cameroon. So far, 12 people in Marseille, in southeastern France contracted the virus. “That virus had a lot of chances to pick up,” a WHO rep said. He added that there is no reason to be concerned.