Cape Coral man confirmed to have both COVID and Influenza at the same time, dubbed ‘flurona’

Published: January 6, 2022 1:31 PM EST
Updated: January 6, 2022 10:12 PM EST

A man from Cape Coral is confirmed to have both COVID-19 and Influenza at the same time, which has recently been dubbed ‘flurona’ by some.

‘Flurona’ is not a new virus or variant, rather contracting two existing viruses at the same time and combining the words flu and coronavirus.

Hugo Leon, epidemiologist for the Collier Dept. of Health, confirmed this case Thursday afternoon.

It’s the perfect storm when it comes to viruses.

“They are two totally different viruses. And that sometimes is confusing for people. So it is possible to get COVID-19 and the flu virus at the same time,” said Bob Hawkes, Director of the Physicians Assistant Program at FGCU.

That’s exactly what happened to Erick Salazar of Cape Coral.

“I was surprised because I actually never heard that, you know, you were able to get both at the same time,” said Salazar.

He says he learned about having both after having symptoms that were concerning for him. “I started feeling a little bit sick on New Year’s Day, which it was Saturday night. So then Sunday, the same day, I was just tired. I was just like, I had a sore throat, headache a little bit, so on Monday I just decided to go to a walk-in clinic, Millenium Physician. And that’s when I got tested for COVID. And they told me that, ‘you actually have COVID and the flu’.”

Salazar has been vaccinated against both the flu and COVID. A move he says may have saved his life.

“I would say probably, it definitely helped having them just because I have seen other people that didn’t have it… And when they got sick, they were really sick.”

Doctors and health officials recommend you get vaccinated against both COVID-19 and the flu.

It’s not unheard of to contract a second virus while your immune system is already low and battling another virus. However, the World Health Organization has said the frequency of influenza co-infection among COVID-19 positive patients is 0.4% in the United States.