COLUMBUS, Ohio — Flurona seems like a typo, but it's real. It's when you get the flu and COVID at the same time.
The first person to have both the flu and COVID was a pregnant, unvaccinated woman in her 30s in Israel. A teen who came into California with his family from Mexico also had both.
Dr. Joseph Gastaldo said people should not be worried about the chances of getting both COVID-19 and the flu at the same time.
“This is not a new virus, this is not a mutated virus. “Flurona” is a street term that we use for somebody who unfortunately has bad luck and gets infection with two different viruses,” said Dr. Gastaldo.
Flu numbers are definitely up from last year, which isn't too surprising, given how many people were staying home and wearing masks.
But, if you compare numbers, there have already been 20 times the number of positive flu tests in 2021 compared to 2020.
As for hospitalizations, that number is already more than four times higher than last year in Ohio
“Historically, we don't see a lot of flu hospitalizations until mid to late January, so we really have to see what that looks like in the next calendar,” said Dr. Gastaldo.
Dr. Gastaldo said the number one way to protect yourself from both the flu and COVID is to be vaccinated.
The flu vaccine is both CDC recommended and FDA approved.