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What is Florona? Symptoms? Treatment? [Complete Info]

It’s Not A New Covid Variant, So What Is ‘Florona’, And Why It Underscores Dual Infection Fears. It’s been branded ‘Florona’ and headlines have been screaming its detection in Israel. To be sure though, it is not a new variant of the novel coronavirus, or a health scare never encountered before. Florona’ is rather a new coinage being used to describe a dual infection with, or coinfection of, the influenza virus and Sars-CoV-2. That has implications for how severe the symptoms can be and recovery.

Florona:

What is Florona?

Reports in Israel say one of the first cases of Covid-19 and influenza in the same person was that of a pregnant woman at a hospital. Amid the rise of the Omicron variant and the continuing spread of Delta cases, it is understandable that such coinfection has sparked fears. Reports say that Israeli doctors have observed a surge in influenza cases in the past few weeks.

It is viewed as a major breakdown of the immunity system for a person to simultaneously contract both influenza and Covid-19 but, in this specific case of the woman admitted to hospital for delivery, reports said that she was vaccinated for neither of the diseases.

The US CDC Statement:

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that for both Covid-19 and influenza, “one or more days can pass between when a person becomes infected and when he or she starts to experience illness symptoms” although for a Covid-19 infection, “it could take them longer to experience symptoms than if they had flu”. In flu, the CDC notes, a person experiences symptoms anywhere from 1 to 4 days after infection while with Covid-19 onset of symptoms happens about “5 days after being infected, but symptoms can appear 2 to 14 days after infection”.

The CDC further says that both flu viruses and the novel coronavirus “can be spread to others by people before they begin showing symptoms; by people with very mild symptoms”m and by asymptomatic people. It spreads mainly between people who are in close contact with one another of under 6-ft distance and is borne by “by large and small particles containing virus that are expelled when people with the illness (Covid-19 or flu) cough, sneeze, or talk”, which in turn can be inhaled. Infection is also possible by touching a surface contaminated with droplets from an infected person and then touching one’s eyes, nose or mouth.

Symptoms:

The World Health Organization (WHO) says “it is possible to catch both diseases at the same time” and that both viruses “share similar symptoms, including cough, runny nose, sore throat, fever, headache and fatigue”. However, the symptoms may vary among people and “some may have no symptoms, mild symptoms or severe disease”. It points out though that “both influenza and Covid-19 can be fatal”.

The Nature report says that Covid-19 and influenza are both “airborne transmitted pathogens that infect the same human tissues”, that is, the respiratory tract and nasal, bronchial, and lung cells. Thus, the overlap of the Covid-19 pandemic and seasonal influenza “might place a large population under high risk for concurrent infection with these two viruses”, it adds.

Treatment or Vaccination?

The WHO says that while all age groups can contract a coinfection of influenza and Covid-19, older adults, those with comorbidities and weakened immune systems and healthcare workers and pregnant women and those who have recently given birth are at high risk of getting infected by influenza and Covid-19.

The global health agency says that treatment for Covid-19 at medical facilities include oxygen, corticosteroids, and IL6 receptor blockers for severely ill patients along with advanced respiratory support, like ventilators, for people with severe respiratory illness. For influenza, antiviral drugs “can reduce severe complications and death, and they are especially important for high-risk groups”. It adds that it is “important to remember that antibiotics are not effective against influenza or Covid-19 viruses” while noting that “People with mild symptoms of both diseases can usually be treated safely at home”.

Stressing on the need for vaccination, WHO says that the “most effective way to protect yourself from both influenza and severe Covid is to get vaccinated with both influenza and Covid vaccines”, pointing out that vaccines for Covid-19 do not protect against influenza and vice-versa. WHO says it recommends the influenza vaccine for “older individuals, young children, pregnant people, people with underlying health conditions, and health workers”.

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