“Florona” Doctors gave it a name – a common infection with influenza (flu In English, from influenza virus) and coronavirus. People who end up in hospital with such a double infection are at greater risk of needing a ventilator or even dying than people who have only severe coronavirus infections.
those points Investigation We are looking forward to a doubling of infections with SARS-CoV-2 and three different respiratory viruses. On Friday, it appeared in the Scientific Medical Journal scalpel†
where mid March There is a flu epidemic in the Netherlands. In the past four weeks, RIVM has seen a significant increase in the number of people infected with influenza at its GP sentinel stations. Bee About half of the samples were from people with flu-like symptoms Influenza virus was found during the last measurement (in the week of March 14th). At 9 percent it was SARS-CoV-2, the proportion of other respiratory viruses was even lower.
Mike Sweets, a physician and researcher at Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), together with British researchers, analyzed data on more than 200,000 adults admitted to hospitals in the UK with Covid-19 between February 2020 and December 2021. Nearly 7,000 of these were also tested. Patients, all over 50, searched for other respiratory viruses – 583 people were found to be infected with multiples: influenza (39 percent), RS (38 percent) or adenovirus (23 percent).
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Patients with both Covid-19 and influenza were more likely to have a severe course. They were also somewhat more fragile and slightly larger than patients tested with only Covid-19. “They were tested for other viruses because they were sicker, so we corrected that in our analysis,” says Swets. Those with double infections had a four times higher chance of needing a ventilator, and a twofold chance of dying. This risk was not increased in cases of infection with one of the other respiratory viruses.
The authors wrote that it is important that people at risk are vaccinated against both Covid-19 and influenza. There is no data on the status of patients vaccinated against influenza or corona, but the majority were sick before corona vaccines were available.
Due to the release of corona measures, both corona virus and influenza virus will spread more in the coming period. This makes the risk of double infection higher. “We recommend that all hospitalized Covid patients get tested for influenza,” says Swets.
At UMC Amsterdam, this is standard practice during respiratory virus season, says Joost Wiersinga, an internist and not involved in the study. “We are now seeing a few Covid patients in hospital, a few flu patients as well, but these findings may become relevant now or in the fall. It may be best not to use the medicines we use in hospital in severe Covid-19 cases, such as Dexamethasone with influenza. This would be a difficult decision in the case of a double infection.”
The situation is now different from what it was at the time of this study. The course of the disease after infection with Omicron is often milder and most people are vaccinated against the coronavirus.
A version of this article also appeared in NRC Handelsblad on March 30, 2022
A version of this article also appeared on NRC on the morning of March 30, 2022
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