Israel records world's first case of 'Florona', a combination of COVID-19 and influenza

MANILA, Philippines – Following the reports of Omicron variant and new wave of COVID-19 infections in several countries, many are concerned about another infectious disease that was recently documented in Israel.

The world has documented the first case of 'Florona' in Israel. The Florona is a simultaneous infection of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and influenza. It was first detected in a pregnant woman in Petah Tikva, Israel on January 1.

Israel records world's first case of 'Florona'
An unvaccinated pregnant woman is the world's first case of Florona.

According to Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, the woman went into labor and was sent to the Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikva. She was unvaccinated for both COVID-19 and flu. Professor Arnon Vizhnitser of the Rabin Medical Center explained that the woman didn't have any severe symptoms and is due to be released from the hospital on January 6.

"She was diagnosed with the flu and coronavirus as soon as she arrived. Both tests came back positive, even after we checked again… the disease is the same disease; they’re viral and cause difficulty in breathing since both attack the upper respiratory tract,” said Vizhnitser.

The infection is currently being investigated by Israel's Health Ministry. It also warned that there could be more Florona affected people who are undiagnosed. They have also started administering their fourth vaccine shots against COVID-19 to immunocompromised individuals.

WHO’s statement

The World Health Organization (WHO) clarified that Florona is not a variant of coronavirus. It is an infection when a patient catches both flu and COVID-19 at the same time.

COVID-19 and influenza (flu) are both infectious respiratory diseases that share the same symptoms. However, they are caused by different viruses. When you catch both, it can greatly weaken your immune system. WHO also warns that both influenza and COVID-19 can be fatal.

According to WHO, the most effective way to remain protected against flu and coronavirus is to get vaccinated for both. They also advise practicing health measures such as social distancing, wearing of masks, frequent hand washing and avoiding crowded and poorly ventilated places and settings.

— Sally, The Summit Express

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