Israel detects its first case of new, highly mutated COVID-19 florona strain

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In what is coming as a new development, Israel has reportedly recorded the first case of ‘Florona’ or flu + Corona has been detected in a case in Israel. As per reports, it is said to be a major breakdown of one’s immunity as both the influenza virus and SARS-Cov-2 enter the body at the same time.

The news of Florona comes at a time when the world is battling a new surge of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic driven by the new variant Omicron, which was first detected in South Africa in November 2021. The fast-transmissible variant has already spread to most of the countries and has overtaken the previous variant Delta in the US and UK.

Florona, however, is not a new variant, to dispel misgivings, as it is believed to be the occurrence of flu and corona at the same time. Israeli doctors said Florona is being studied as Isreal has seen a surge in influenza cases in the last few weeks.

What is Florona?

In fact, as per World Health Organization (WHO), it is “possible to catch both diseases at the same time”. “The most effective way to prevent hospitalisation and severe Covid-19 and influenza is vaccination with both vaccines,” the statement on WHO’s website reads.

As per mayoclinic.org, the viruses that cause Covid-19 and the flu spread in similar ways. They can both spread between people who are in close contact (within six feet, or two meters). The viruses spread through respiratory droplets or aerosols released through talking, sneezing, or coughing. These droplets can land in the mouth or nose of someone nearby or be inhaled. These viruses can also spread if a person touches a surface with one of the viruses on it and then touches his or her mouth, nose, or eyes.

Diagnosis

While symptoms can appear anywhere between three to four days for flu, it takes two to 14 days for coronavirus symptoms to appear. While symptoms for both include cough and cold, fever, runny nose, as per Dr P Venkat, Internal Medicine, Artemis Hospital the only difference is seen when the sample is sent for testing.

“A PCR test is done for flu where we test for the RNA (or Ribonucleic acid which is essential for any form of life) of the virus. For both the viruses, different PCR tests are done. The genotypes of both viruses are different. It can be differentiated only by lab tests,” commented Dr Venkat.

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