The first known case of dual coronavirus-flu infection in the Bay Area was confirmed in Solano County on Thursday, prompting health officials to urge residents to speed up and get flu shots, and double social distancing and wear masks.
The Solano County Department of Health and Social Services described the unfortunate patient as a healthy person under 65, but the county did not release any personal information.
Solano County Health Officer Bela Matyas said the victim was 20 years old and working in the “health care field” and appeared to have recovered from co-infection.
Matyas said: “This clearly shows that this possibility is happening.” “We are now infected with the COVID virus at the same time, and at the same time we are infecting our community…infection with any disease can weaken your immune system and make you It’s easier to get another disease.”
Little is known about how influenza infection affects COVID-19, but infectious disease experts have long warned that co-infection can lead to more serious illness.
John Swartzberg, an infectious disease expert at the University of California, Berkeley, said: “It is certainly not good to be infected with these two viruses at the same time. This may be a greater challenge for people who are infected with both viruses at the same time. Worse.” School of Public Health. “Therefore, we should do everything we can to prevent infection.”
The fact that Solano County patients recovered from the two viruses may not indicate what might happen in the general population. Robert Siegel, an infectious disease expert at Stanford University, said this is not enough to determine how the two viruses interact.
This is why doctors are forced to rely on common sense, which shows that two diseases in a person’s body will put more pressure on the immune system.
Siegel said: “People with respiratory diseases usually get the coronavirus, and the flu can cause these problems.” “We have to proceed with caution.”
But there is some conflicting information.
A small study in New York found that when comparing patients with COVID-19 and patients with both flu and COVID-19, there was no difference in outcomes. The data, released on IDWeek on October 23, surveyed a small group of patients in the Bronx who tested positive for both tests early in the pandemic.
A study conducted by Stanford University in April found that 20.7% of people infected with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) were also infected with at least one other respiratory pathogen.
What doctors know is that severe symptoms—high fever, headache, and body aches—are more likely to show up early in the flu. Exposure to COVID-19 may cause severe symptoms 2 to 14 days after exposure, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. It cannot be treated with antibiotics.
Matyas said that pregnant women, children under 5, and elderly people suffering from heart disease, asthma and diabetes are the biggest concerns for the two viruses. Fortunately, two methods can prevent spread: masks, social distancing, washing hands when sick and staying at home.
He said that vaccines will also help.
Matyas said: “Getting a flu vaccine this year is more important than ever.” Vaccination not only reduces the risk of getting the flu, it also reduces your chances of being hospitalized. In other words, the flu vaccine will provide some protection and reduce the chance that you will need to be hospitalized when you are sick. “
Peter Fimrite is a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: email@example.com. Twitter: @pfimrite