Chicago area residents report battles with “Flurona” while contracting flu and COVID at the same time – NBC Chicago
The term “Flurona” has been around for the past few weeks, with doctors saying it is possible to contract COVID-19 and the flu at the same time, and two Chicago area residents share their experiences with the phenomenon.
Both residents say the thought of having COVID and the flu at the same time never crossed their mind, but a few weeks ago they both had to fight the viruses at the same time.
Kirby Hodge, 33, is fully vaccinated against COVID and plans to get a booster shot soon, but in the past few weeks he has tested positive for the flu and then for COVID.
“They said, ‘You just tested positive for the flu and now you have COVID,'” he recalls. “I had night sweats, chills, and a fever.”
Hodge said he was exhausted and weak while battling the diseases.
“My body was drained,” he said. “There were days when I couldn’t get out of bed because I was so exhausted.”
Western suburban roommate Sydney Gatrost is also vaccinated against COVID and she says she first started experiencing symptoms in late December.
“I had a fever of 103 degrees. I just felt like I couldn’t breathe, ”she said. “I had a cough and constipation.”
She said she tested positive for both diseases in quick succession, which surprised the medical professionals treating her.
“They all said, ‘This is strange. You’re the first person to test positive for both, ”she recalls.
Gatrost got so sick that she was eventually rushed to a county hospital.
“My heart rate was around 150,” she said. “I just couldn’t breathe.”
Doctors say COVID-19, including the Omicron variant, and the flu have had similar symptoms, including a cough, headache, nasal congestion, and fever.
Doctors say the diseases are milder even in younger patients, but the effects can be more severe if the patient combats both at the same time.
While antiviral drugs for COVID are still being rolled out and mostly kept for patients with previous illnesses, antiviral flu drugs can still be used for patients even if they have also been diagnosed with COVID-19.
Still, the best way to avoid serious illness in either disease is to get vaccinated, something Illinois officials recommend for residents as flu season and the rise in omicrons continue.