Simultaneous infection with coronavirus and influenza can be especially dangerous for the patient and others. Diseases can “overlap” each other, which will make it harder for test systems to determine the coronavirus, and the disease can be much more severe. This opinion is shared by Chinese and Russian scientists.
A 69-year-old patient with fever and dry cough was admitted to the Sino-Japanese Friendship Hospital in Beijing. Three tests for coronavirus showed a negative result, while he was diagnosed with type A flu. However, x-rays showed clear signs of viral pneumonia in the patient. Doctors conducted several more tests and found that the man was immediately ill with both coronavirus and flu.
According to Oleg Batishchev, Associate Professor of the Department of Biophysics at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Oleg Batishchev, Deputy Director for Research at the Institute of Physics and Economics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, coronavirus and type A flu belong to different “families” and can exist together.
“Influenza mainly affects the upper respiratory tract, and COVID-19 – the lower. These are completely different types of viruses with dissimilar evolution and biology. In the case of a weakened immune system, the likelihood that infection with the second pathogen that has entered the body will go according to a more difficult scenario increases, ”the newspaper Izvestia quoted Batishchev as saying.
According to Pavel Volchkov, head of the MIPT genomic engineering laboratory, when infected with both influenza and coronavirus, tests will show the patient more likely to have the flu. Therefore, people with the symptoms of COVID-19 should be given as many tests as possible.
“A similar patient will be positive for both flu and coronavirus if both infections are at approximately the same stage. If the flu has entered the active phase and all its symptoms are present, and the person has just acquired COVID-19, that is, the concentration of coronavirus in physiological fluids is still low, then they will not be found during the tests, ”Volchkov noted.
According to statistics from Johns Hopkins University, currently 938373 cases of COVID-19 infection are recorded in the world. 47273 people died, another 194405 – recovered.