(NEXSTAR) — While flurona may not sound like a real word, it is: Flurona is when a patient is experiencing the flu and COVID-19 at the same time. Israel confirmed its first case of flurona last month.
Since then, health officials throughout the U.S. have been reporting cases of the disease. The World Health Organization says co-infections are not unusual when there is an intense transmission of pathogens in communities, such as COVID-19 and flu.
One reality TV star, Sadie Robertson from A&E’s “Duck Dynasty,” recently revealed she has gotten flurona. In the caption of a Friday Instagram post, Robertson explained 2022 “started off by me getting flurona.” This comes just a few months after Robertson’s daughter Honey, born in May 2021, was hospitalized with Respiratory Syncytial Virus, or RSV.
To make matters worse, Robertson says their home has been invaded by rats.
“It’s day 4 of not being able to get them and being out of our house. It’s disgusting,” she writes. “And we are exhausted from getting over sickness and being out of our home.”
Flurona, while just entering our vocabularies this year, has likely been around for some time. A man in New York tested positive for the flu and COVID-19 at the same time in late February 2020, The Atlantic reports.
Many of the symptoms of the flu and COVID-19 are similar. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, both viruses can cause a fever, coughing, sore throat, runny nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue, and nausea or vomiting.
Because of their overlapping symptoms, testing is needed to determine if you are experiencing flurona. The CDC explains there are a number of tests available to detect the flu. Among them is swab testing of your throat or nose, similar to current COVID-19 testing methods.
“They did two swabs. They tested the left nostril for flu and they tested the right nostril for COVID,” Alisha Johnson explained to Nexstar’s WSPA after learning she had flurona.
While COVID-19 testing is widely accessible, you may need to speak with your doctor to be tested for influenza.
Doctors recommend getting vaccinated against both the flu and COVID-19 to prevent severe illness.