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An unvaccinated, pregnant Israeli woman has the dubious distinction of contracting the country’s first case of “flurona” — a simultaneous infection of COVID-19 and the seasonal flu, according to reports.
The unidentified woman was diagnosed with the dreaded double infection when she arrived last week at the Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikvah, the Times of Israel said.
Reports of people being hit with the rare combination of both illnesses first surfaced in the US in the spring of 2020, according to the news outlet.
Despite the worrisome diagnosis, the Israeli mother reportedly experienced only mild symptoms of each.
“She was diagnosed with the flu and coronavirus as soon as she arrived,” said Arnon Vizhnitser, director of the hospital’s Gynecology Department, Hamodia reported.
“Both tests came back positive, even after we checked again,” he said, adding that “the disease is the same disease. They’re viral and cause difficulty breathing since both attack the upper respiratory tract.”
The woman was released from the hospital Thursday and was said to be in good condition, the Times of Israel reported.
An unvaccinated Israeli woman was simultaneously diagnosed with COVID-19 and the flu.Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images
The Israeli Health Ministry was studying her case to see whether a combination of the two bugs can causes more severe illness amid a worrying rise in flu cases.
“Last year, we did not witness flu cases among pregnant or birthing women,” Vizhnitser said, according to Hamodia. “Today, we are seeing cases of both coronavirus and the flu that are starting to rear their head.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Sunday announced that Israel would offer a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to people over age 60 and health care workers amid a surge in Omicron variant cases.
The woman was released from the hospital Thursday and was said to be in good condition.Ariel Schalit/AP
Last week, the country approved a second booster of the Pfizer/BioNTech jab for people who are immunocompromised and for the elderly living in care homes.
“We now have a new layer of defense,” Bennett said in a televised news conference, Reuters reported. “Israel will once again be pioneering the global vaccination effort.”
Israeli authorities reported 4,206 new COVID-19 infections over the past 24 hours and a 195 percent spike over the past week, according to Agence France-Presse.
Bennett urged all adults and children to get vaccinated, warning that cases could reach around “50,000 cases per day soon.”
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced that Israel would offer a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to people over age 60 and health care workers.Emil Salman/Pool via REUTERS
More than 4 million people out of Israel’s 9.2 million residents have received three shots of the vaccine. A total of almost 1.4 million cases of COVID-19 — including 8,244 deaths — have been recorded in the country.
“The [infection] numbers will have to be very high in order to reach herd immunity,” Health Ministry chief Nachman Ash told 103 FM Radio.
“This is possible, but we don’t want to reach it by means of infections, we want it to happen as a result of many people vaccinating,” he added.