Originally Published by the Houston Chronicle
The United States has faced a triple threat of respiratory viruses over the past few months, with COVID-19, the flu and RSV driving infections and hospitalizations in the Houston area and elsewhere.
Each of the three are capable of causing mild to severe illness by themselves. But it’s also possible to contract more than one virus at a time — and a new study suggests a coinfection may lead to more severe illness in young children.
The term “flurona” became popular on social media last year as a surge in COVID-19 and the re-emergence of the flu caused a wave of infections. However, doctors were seeing patients — particularly young children — with coinfections before the pandemic, said Dr. Amy Arrington, medical director of the Special Isolation Unit at Texas Children’s Hospital.
“It’s not uncommon that we see younger kids getting co-infected,” she said. “I think a lot of parents today in Houston can say they feel like their child’s been sick for the past few months straight.”
Younger children might be more susceptible to coinfections because they haven’t been exposed to a respiratory virus before, Arrington said. They may be getting infected at daycare, or from an older sibling who picked up the virus at school.
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