In more uplifting news, studies show Omicron COVID variant is less severe due to reduced lung effects.
Infectious disease news is getting off to a robust start in 2022, as Israel reports its first combination case if influenza and the coronavirus-caused COVID.
The duel infections have been 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.
Given that this is the cold-and-flu season, I suspect that this wasn’t the first case of flurona and many more will be recorded. Fortunately, the case being studied appears to be mild.
Vizhnitser added that the woman had not been vaccinated against either virus, but she did not have any especially strong symptoms. She had been feeling well and was expected to be discharged on Thursday.
Though this was the first documented case of someone infected with both viruses simultaneously, health experts believe there are others who have not been diagnosed. The Israeli Health Ministry is studying the case to see whether it could cause more serious illness, according to Hamodia.
In more uplifting infectious disease news, multiple studies show that the Omicron COVID variant is less severe than previous ones because it does not cause as much damage in the lungs.
A study by a consortium of US and Japanese scientists on hamsters and mice found those infected with Omicron had less lung damage, lost less weight and were less likely to die than those that had other variants.
It found mice infected with Omicron had a tenth less of the virus in their lungs compared to those with other variants.
The findings backed up another paper by researchers at the University of Hong Kong, who studied human tissue in Omicron victims.
They found Omicron grew significantly more slowly in 12 lung samples than earlier strains of the virus.
Experts believe the fact the super mutant variant tends not to replicate as much in the lower parts of the lungs means it causes less significant damage, which could be behind its reduced severity.
Data from South Africa showed Omicron sufferers are up to 80 per cent less likely to end up in hospital than those with Delta. And a similar study by the UK Health and Security estimated the risk was 70 per cent less.
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