The coronavirus and influenza’s dual infection, “flurona” has also occurred in Hungary. The private laboratory Neumann Labs has identified two cases so far.
As reported by the laboratory, a patient in Israel was identified in the first days of the new year who had contracted both the coronavirus and influenza. The simultaneous presence of both viruses was also detected in two cases in the private laboratory in Hungary. Both patients were under 30 years old.
In Hungary, we were the first to introduce simultaneous PCR testing for influenza and Covid-19, and unfortunately, I have to say, not by chance. Scientists have always emphasized that the two viruses can be caught at the same time, and in this case, the disease can be more severe and the chances of death significantly higher,”
said Miklós Nyíri, CEO of Neumann Labs.
Zoltán Kis, a virologist of the National Center for Public Health (NNK), told state news channel M1 that the NNK’s reference laboratory also found samples in which other respiratory pathogens were detected in addition to the coronavirus.
Kis said that an American study examined half a million patients with coronavirus and found that three percent of them had influenza virus in their samples, in addition to coronavirus. He said this did not mean that the influenza virus and the coronavirus had “gotten together” and swapped their genetic material, but that they appeared in the body at the same time but separately. János Szlávik, Chief Infectologist of the South Pest Central Hospital said the same thing, adding:
The two viruses have nothing to do with each other, they cannot recombine.”
Nyíri says that the symptoms of respiratory infections of different origins, including Covid-19 and influenza, are very similar, so people who get sick may not know for sure which virus they caught. These symptoms can be fever, cough, fatigue, or joint pain. Therefore, many people with the flu diagnose themselves as having the coronavirus and vice versa. Kis said that this is why it is important for anyone who suspects an infection to get tested.
He also said that both the coronavirus and influenza can cause serious illness on their own, but especially in the unvaccinated. Referring to the US study, he said those who were admitted to the hospital and had a dual infection were more likely to have respiratory problems than those who had been vaccinated against the flu or coronavirus.
According to Nyíri, the health and diagnostic services must be prepared for the fact that there will be cases of double infection. They are currently finding 4-5 cases of flu a day, but the flu season has not even begun and a fifth wave is likely due to the rapid spread of the omicron variant.
Featured image via Márton Mónus/MTI