- Catching COVID-19 and the flu at the same time appears to be “very uncommon,” a CDC expert says.
- The CDC epidemiologist told Insider that the agency is monitoring “flurona” coinfections.
- The term began to circulate after infections were discovered in Israel and several US states.
A “flurona” infection — catching COVID-19 and the flu at the same time — appears to be “very uncommon,” a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expert said.
Coinfections “could happen with any two viruses that are circulating at the same time,” Alicia Budd, an epidemiologist at the CDC, told Insider’s Hilary Brueck.
Budd said the CDC is monitoring how common the coinfections of the flu and COVID-19 are among hospitalized patients, and that it “looks to be very uncommon at this point.”
“This is not a situation where these two viruses are merging,” Budd added. “It’s the very unlucky individual who ends up with two respiratory-virus infections at the same time.”
The term “flurona” is not something that’s used at the CDC, Budd said. But the term began to circulate after coinfections were first discovered in Israel, and then in California, Texas, Kansas, Mississippi, and North Carolina.
Research from June 2021, didn’t find enough evidence to suggest getting a coinfection is more dangerous than just COVID-19.
There “is not enough evidence to suggest that such concurrent infections increase disease morbidity or mortality,” scientists published in the peer-reviewed journal Frontiers in Medicine.