A woman admitted to hospital in Israel has reportedly been diagnosed with coronavirus and influenza at the same time – an incredibly rare mixture dubbed ‘flurona’.
The novel case was detected after the young woman, who is pregnant and unvaccinated, was examined at the Beilinson Hospital in Petach Tikva where she presented with mild symptoms.
According to local reports, doctors found traces of both Covid-19 and flu pathogens in her system.
The Israeli health ministry is said to be studying the results to determine whether the combination of the two infections can cause more serious illness.
Professor Arnon Vizhnitser, director of the hospitals’ Gynecology Department, was quoted in Hamodia as saying: ‘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 breathing since both attack the upper respiratory tract.’
He added that the woman was expected to be discharged from hospital on Thursday.
Although she is thought to have been the first documented case of double infection, experts in the country believe there are others yet to be diagnosed.
Prof Vizhnitserwent on: ‘Last year, we did not witness flu cases among pregnant or birthing women. Today, we are seeing cases of both coronavirus and the flu that are starting to rear their head.
‘We are seeing more and more pregnant women with the flu. It is definitely a great challenge dealing with a woman who comes in with a fever at childbirth.
‘This is especially when you do not know if it’s coronavirus or the flu, so you refer to them the same. Most of the illness is respiratory.’
Israel has become the first country to approve a fourth vaccine dose for people most vulnerable to Covid-19 as it braces for a wave of infections fuelled by the Omicron variant.
Nachman Ash, the director general of the Health Ministry, announced the decision at a press conference late on Thursday.
He said the decision is based on early research, and that officials will consider expanding the administration of a fourth dose to more of the public as they assess the situation.
More than 8,000 people have died of Covid-19 in the country since the beginning of the pandemic.
There are currently more than 20,000 patients in hospital with the virus, 94 of whom are seriously ill.