Americans now face a new potential problem this winter because of the rise of the coronavirus — “flurona,” or getting the flu and coronavirus at the same time.

Dr. Robert Quigley, senior vice president and global medical director for International SOS, a leading medical and security services company, told me that flurona is not its own disease, but “but rather a coinfection with the influenza and coronavirus.”

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Flurona symptoms: Quigley said the “flurona” combination has similar symptoms to the common cold.

  • “Both the flu and COVID-19 are respiratory diseases which can consist of symptoms including, but not limited to, a runny nose, sore throat, fever, headache and fatigue. These symptoms will differ for each individual depending on one’s health and vaccination status,” he said.

Multiple reports suggest the omicron variant creates mild symptoms among those who are fully vaccinated. However, the symptoms are so similar to the common cold that people might not know they have COVID-19, per the Deseret News.

Why this matters: If people are feeling symptoms like the common cold, they might not get tested for COVID-19, meaning COVID-19 case numbers might be lower than we think. This could potentially expose more people to the virus.