MANILA — A co-infection with the influenza virus and coronavirus is not unusual, a health specialist said Monday, after Israel reported its first case of the "flurona" infection in a pregnant woman.
“It’s an unfortunate confluence of events na na-expose ka sa dalawang pathogens, and of course, may kinalaman doon if you have co-morbid conditions,” Department of Health technical advisory group member Dr. Edsel Salvana told reporters.
Salvana said the Philippines has already seen a case where a patient was infected with both viruses.
“Our very first COVID death in the Philippines back in [February] 2020, a Chinese national, had both influenza B and coronavirus. And he also had streptococcus pneumonia," he noted.
The first coronavirus-related fatality in the country was also the first death recorded outside China, where the respiratory disease first emerged.
Salvana reminded the public to get vaccinated for flu and pneumonia to obtain maximum protection from severe disease and death from the illness caused by the pathogens.
Authorities had eyed fully inoculating 54 million people by the end of 2021. As of Jan. 2, some 49.8 million of the Philippines' 109 million people were fully vaccinated, according to data from the health department.