By: Shelley Bortz/KDKA-TV
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Doctors in the Pittsburgh area say they are seeing a small percentage of people testing positive for the flu and COVID-19 this winter season.READ MORE: As Winter Storm System Moves In, Pittsburghers Pack Grocery Stores For Last-Minute Items
It’s being called “flurona,” and a local doctor said the best way to prevent it is by being vaccinated against both viruses.
“If you get both of them at the same time, it could be absolutely devastating,” Allegheny Health Network’s Dr. Randolph Peters said.
Although doctors said the chances of getting “flurona” are small, it could further tax the immune systems of people over the age of 65 and those with underlying conditions.READ MORE: 1 Shot In Downtown Pittsburgh
“Really anything that will increase your risk of any disease will doubly increase the risk for COVID and adding something on top of that just exasperates your risks,” Peters said.
There is no clear way to tell the difference between COVID-19 and the flu, and no real way to tell if you have both. Symptoms are nearly identical, with the only difference being the loss of taste and smell with COVID-19.
“A lot of places now, they’ll just test you for both simultaneously if you come in,” Peters said.MORE NEWS: Seven Springs Opens Faster, High-Capacity Chairlift
To avoid co-infection, Peters said to get your flu shot and be fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19.