Israel has recorded the first case of a rare mixture of two diseases, influenza and coronavirus, dubbed “flurona”.
Local reports said that the patient was a young pregnant woman, who was in hospital, although her symptoms were mild.
“She was diagnosed with the flu and coronavirus as soon as she arrived,” said Arnon Vizhnitser, director of the gynaecology department of Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva city.
“Both tests came back positive, even after we checked again,” he told local newspaper Hamodia.
“The disease is the same disease: they’re viral and cause difficulty breathing since both attack the upper respiratory tract,” Prof Vizhnitser added.
The Israeli health ministry said it was studying the case to determine whether the combination of the two infections can cause a more serious illness.
The woman is expected to be discharged from the hospital on Thursday.
While she is the first documented case to be diagnosed with both diseases simultaneously, doctors believe there are more cases in the country.
“We are seeing more and more pregnant women with the flu. It is definitely a great challenge dealing with a woman who comes in with a fever at childbirth,” said Prof Vizhnitser.
“This is especially when you do not know if it’s coronavirus or the flu, so you refer to them the same. Most of the illness is respiratory.”
Israel began administering the fourth vaccine shots to individuals with compromised immune systems on Friday to curb the spread of the Omicron variant, The Times of Israel reported.
The country lifted outdoor mask mandates in April, making them obligatory only for large gatherings, and cases have steadily surged.
Health ministry data showed that 5,000 cases were recorded as of Friday. There have been 1,376,256 infections and 8,243 coronavirus-related deaths reported in Israel since the pandemic began.
On Thursday, the head of the army’s coronavirus task force warned that the healthcare system would “collapse” as Omicron spread, according to Haaretz.