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Earlier this week, Israeli media reported a person who was hospitalized with evidence of both seasonal flu and COVID at the same time. This unvaccinated and pregnant person had mild symptoms and was discharged without any complications.
A person being infected with both the COVID-causing SARS-CoV2 virus and an influenza virus can happen; we just had one such person in our hospital last month whom we treated and discharged without a whole lot of fanfare. However, the Times of Israel made a mundane two-virus story go viral by using a catchy, made-up name of “flurona” and reporting that this is the “first” such case in the country, which some people read as the first case ever.
Several news outlets and internet sites took it from there, with one Web magazine amplifying the anecdotal report into “a new nightmare to keep us awake at night.” Of course, social media was abuzz with anxiety arising from misinformation, such as that flurona was a combined flu and SARS-CoV-2 supervirus. Other people created memes mocking any seriousness attached to either of the infections.