SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – As cold and flu season ramps up, doctors are warning people about co-infections of both Covid-19 and the flu.

Doctors at Baystate Medical Center are busy right now dealing with cases of flu and Covid-19 but they are putting a warning out there, people can become infected with both of these illnesses at the same time.

Sometimes dubbed flurona, co-infections of both Covid-19 and the flu can happen. Doctors at Baystate Medical Center warn that the elderly and people with serious health issues are most at risk for complications.

“Those people who get those what we call co-infections, tend to be at more risk of having a more severe course of illness. Some patients who are immuno-compromised basically don’t have a lot of reserve in their lungs, they may end up needing a ventilator.” Dr. Armando Paez, Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases, Baystate Medical Center

The flu and Covid-19 share many of the same symptoms such as the following from the CDC:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/having chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle pain or body aches
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea (more frequent in children with flu, but can occur in any age with COVID-19)
  • Change in or loss of taste or smell, although this is more frequent with COVID-19.

Doctors say while cases are pretty rare, they are not only possible but preventable. Most of us are familiar with the ways we can protect ourselves such as staying on top of vaccinations, masking and washing hands.