‘Flurona’ Cases Raise Concerns Of Severe Double-Infections

Israel reported a rare case of simultaneous infection with Covid-19 and flu Thursday, raising concerns that seasonal flu outbreaks could leave large swathes of the public vulnerable to severe Covid infections.

The dual infection, apparently Israel’s first, was found in an unvaccinated pregnant woman who showed mild symptoms, Petah Tikva’s Beilinson Hospital told the Times of Israel.

Paradoxically, a season with little flu transmission can leave people more vulnerable the following year because they have not been exposed to the virus, which has now led to widespread outbreaks of both Covid and the flu in Israel, Ben-Gurion University School of Public Health Director Nadav Davidovitch told CNN Tuesday.

Masking and lockdowns intended to curb Covid helped push infections of flu and other respiratory diseases to record lows in the U.S. last winter, raising the possibility of greater vulnerability to flu outbreaks this year.

Overall vaccine coverage for the 2021-2022 flu season is similar to or lower than the previous season, with vaccination among children aged 6 months to 17 years down 5.9 percentage points in December 2021 compared to the previous December, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

Nearly 30% of people 18 and over in the U.S. do not plan to receive a flu shot, according to CDC survey data collected in December 2021.

Additionally, current vaccination rates may paint an overly optimistic picture—a study led by University of Pennsylvania microbiologist Scott Hensley found that recent mutations in the most common flu strain may have rendered vaccines partially ineffective against it, CNN reported.


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