The word Flurona is going around Australia. But what is it, and how do you know if you have COVID or the flu?
A well-known doctor in Australia is warning people to watch out for so-called "flurona" infections and busting some common myths.
This month, Flurona was in the news because a Victorian woman who had both COVID and the flu died after taking it.
As we move into winter, experts say it's more likely that more people will get sick at the same time.
Dr. Nirvana Luckraj, the Chief Medical Officer at Healthdirect, said that flurona was often thought to be a new virus.
In reality, she said, it is a "non-medical term" that means someone has flu and COVID at the same time.
"COVID is still going around, and there are still a lot of cases in some states. Add to that the flu season we're expecting now that restrictions have been lifted, and it's possible for someone to have both flu and COVID at the same time," she said.
"It's something we want to stop because both of these could be very bad, and if they happened together, it would be even worse."
She said that getting vaccinated is the best way to avoid getting sick.
But don't think that your COVID shots will help against the flu.
The flu vaccine is made for the flu virus and the COVID vaccine is made for COVID. They don't protect against each other, so it's important to get both vaccines this winter for the best protection.
COVID cases have also stayed high and flu cases have been going up all over Australia.
In the week ending May 7, there were 2000 cases of the flu just in New South Wales. This is almost double the number of cases from the week before.
Dr. Kerry Chant, the Chief Health Officer, said that schools are especially likely to have flu outbreaks.
"Like COVID-19, boarding schools are a place where flu is likely to spread. "We are strongly encouraging everyone in boarding schools to get a flu shot," Chant said.
"Boarders who have the flu should stay away from other people until their symptoms go away. If three or more boarders in a school have the flu, the school should call the local Public Health Unit for help.
But how can you tell if you have COVID, the flu, or both?
Luckraj said that there were a lot of similarities, since they are both respiratory diseases that can spread.
COVID, on the other hand, seems to spread more easily.
She said, "You can't really tell or self-diagnose based on symptoms alone, so it's important to get tested for COVID to be sure."
"If you have flu-like symptoms but are otherwise healthy, you probably don't need to see a doctor."
But if your symptoms are more severe, like trouble breathing or a severe headache, or if you can't keep fluids down, or if you're just worried, you should talk to your doctor or call Healthdirect to talk to a registered nurse who can help you figure out what to do next.
In the UK, a recent study found that flurona doubled the chance of dying from either virus.
An expert on infectious diseases at the University of Queensland, Dr. Paul Griffin, said that flurona was "quite important."
"People need to care about this enough to go get vaccinated," he said.
"Flurona is pretty important, and we know it makes all the bad things that can happen from either infection much more likely. "That means you're much more likely to end up in the hospital and much more likely to have those bad things happen."