The first known case in the Bay Area due to a double-flu coronavirus infection was confirmed on Thursday in Solano County, prompting health officials to urge residents to quickly get flu shots and reduce social distance and wear a mask.
The Solano County Department of Health and Social Services describes the unfortunate patient as a healthy person under age 65, but the county does not disclose any personal information.
Bela Matyas, Solano County health worker, said the victim was over 20 years old, worked in the “healthcare sector” and appeared to have recovered from the infection.
“This is a very clear indication of the likelihood of this happening,” Matyas said. “We are currently suffering from influenza in the community at the same time as COVID … Having one of these diseases can weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to the other.”;
Not much is known about how flu infection will affect people with COVID-19, but infectious disease experts have long warned that co-infection can cause more serious illness.
“It’s definitely not good to have both, and it could be a bigger challenge for people with both,” said John Swartzberg, an infectious disease expert at UC Berkeley. for worse results. School of Public Health. “So we should do everything we can to prevent infection.”
The fact that Solano Nuclear patients have recovered from these two viruses may not indicate what is likely to happen in the general population. This is not a large enough sample to determine how two viruses interact with each other, says Robert Siegel, an infectious disease expert at Stanford University.
That is why doctors are forced to rely on common sense, which assumes that two diseases in one body put greater stress on the immune system.
“People with breathing problems often get worse with coronavirus, and the flu causes those problems,” Siegel said. “We want to avoid mistakes on the prudent side.”
But there are some contradictions.
A small New York study found no difference in results when they compared patients with COVID-19 with patients with both flu and COVID-19. The data, published October 23 in IDWeek, looked at a small group of patients in the Bronx who had positive results with both tests early in the pandemic.
An April Stanford study found that 20.7% of people infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, are also co-infected with at least one other respiratory pathogen.
What the doctor knows is that severe symptoms – high fever, headache and body aches – are more likely to manifest early with the flu. With COVID-19, severe symptoms, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath, can appear two to 14 days after exposure. Antibiotics are also not treatable.
Matyas says pregnant women, children under 5 years of age and older with pre-existing conditions, such as heart disease, asthma and diabetes, are the biggest concerns for either virus. Luckily, the way to prevent spread is the same for both – masks, away from society, wash your hands and stay home when you’re sick.
The vaccine would also help, he said.
“Getting a flu shot this year is more important than ever,” Matyas said. “Getting vaccinated not only reduces your risk of getting the flu, but also reduces the likelihood of you being hospitalized. In other words, the flu vaccine will provide some protection and reduce your risk of hospitalization if you get sick. “
Peter Fimrite is a writer of the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: email@example.com. Twitter: @pfimrite