Israeli authorities had disclosed on Thursday that the country had recorded its first case of a patient who is infected with COVID-19 and the seasonal flu simultaneously. Located in Petah Tikva, the Beilinson Hospital said that they had found the two infections in an unvaccinated pregnant woman who was experiencing mild symptoms. According to some Israel news reports, this is the first dual case to have happened globally, but there had been reports of patients in the US with both COVID-19 and the flu, as early as spring of 2020. In recent weeks, there has been a surge in flu cases in Israel, as almost 2,000 people had been hospitalized because of concerns about a ‘twindemic’ of the two diseases.
This term was used because of fears that a high number of COVID-19 and flu cases could actually overwhelm the health system, not that a lot of people would be infected with both the diseases at once. Those fears had not been realized in the previous winter because the coronavirus restrictions in the country had mostly stamped out the cases of the flu. But, this year is not the same at all. According to health officials, it was likely that a number of others had also been affected by both viruses, but not been diagnosed as yet.
Some people have dubbed this occurrence as ‘flurona’ and doctors at the Beilinson said that the discovered case was a mild one. The director of the gynecology department of the hospital, ArnonVizhnitser said that the disease is the same because it is viral makes breathing difficult because both of them target the upper respiratory tract. The hospital said that the woman was in good condition and had been released from the hospital on Thursday. Still, the case was being examined by the Health Ministry in order to determine if the combination of the two viruses could lead to more severe illness.
On Wednesday, the Health Ministry had stated that they had begun to chart a worrying increase in the number of flu cases. A 31-year old pregnant woman had died in Jerusalem last month after contracting the flu. The unnamed woman had fallen ill two weeks ago and was nine months pregnant. The Hadassah Medical Center had hospitalized the woman and performed a Caesarian section. The woman had a son who appeared to be healthy. She had been put on ventilator immediately after the surgery because of respiratory complications.
However, her condition had deteriorated and the medical team hadn’t been able to save her life. Last month, Yosef Naim, a six-year-old had died in his sleep. He had a fever and had gone to bed. Health experts believe that flu complications had resulted in an inflammation of the heart, called myocarditis. Meanwhile, 31st Decembermarked the completion of one yearsince emergency approval had been granted by the World Health Organization to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19 for combating the ongoing coronavirus pandemic globally. At that point, the virus had been ravaging the world for a year.
Even though the vaccine had been approved by WHO on 31st December, others had already given it the greenlight earlier. Israel had also pushed to get the vaccine from Pfizer earlier in the year. They had ordered millions of doses to be sent in order to combat the coronavirus in Israel and this had led to a widely successful campaign in the country. Israel had eventually begun to inoculate its population rapidly against COVID-19 and had become one of the first countries in the world to do so at such a rapid pace.
To this day, the vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech is the primary vaccine used for inoculating against the disease in the Jewish state. Even though the UK had given its vaccine approval before the WHO, the latter’s approval had been deemed necessary for the purpose of distribution. The seal of approval from the WHO gave other countries the confidence to follow suit.