The United States’ first known case of ‘flurona’ has been confirmed at a COVID-19 testing site in Los Angeles County.
Officials at the testing site in Brentwood, California, confirmed the case after a child tested positive for both Influenza A (flu) and SARS-CoV-2 (coronavirus) following a trip to Cabo San Lucas.
Despite both being contagious respiratory illnesses, and having some similar symptoms, flu and coronavirus are caused by different viruses. The boy’s mother is said to have tested positive for the latter the day after her son’s result, though the other family members tested negative for COVID-19.
Steve Farzam, the COO of 911 COVID Testing, implied the discovery was the opposite of what officials had been hoping to happen as he commented, ‘Our new year’s resolution was to flatten the curve. And now, simply put, it’s now turned into a nightmare. The technicians are fatigued. Sometimes it feels like there’s no end in sight.’
Healthcare workers at the Brentwood testing site are testing nearly 3,000 people a day as coronavirus continues to spread, with Farzam telling KTVU that resources have been ‘inundated with the vast amount of folks being who are getting tested’.
He continued, ‘We’re seeing folks who do have some basic cold symptoms, getting repeated tests, showing up almost every day of the week for a COVID test.’
Farzam expressed hope that healthcare workers would be able to identify those testing positive for the flu early on, in turn preventing them from coming back repeatedly out of fear they are carrying coronavirus and allowing staff to ‘save those tests for the people who really do need them’.
The news of America’s first flurona case comes after an unvaccinated pregnant woman tested positive for both coronavirus and flu at the Beilinson Hospital in Israel last week.
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