Health officials in Solano County confirmed that a resident has tested positive for both the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and the flu, underscoring the importance of getting a flu shot. The coinfection represents the county's first known case of someone contracting both viruses at the same time.
The individual is under 65, has no underlying health conditions, and works in "the broad health care sector," which Solano County Public Health Officer Dr. Bela Matyas defined as not just hospitals and clinics, but nursing homes and other congregate care settings.
The infected person is isolating at home and seems to be recovering, Matyas said in a press release.
But the combination of viruses can be severe.
"With the likelihood of both COVID-19 and seasonal flu activity this winter, contracting either disease may weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to the other disease,” Matyas warned.
The good news, he said, is that you can protect yourself from the flu the same way you do from COVID-19: Stay home when sick; wear a mask; cough into your elbow; and wash your hands.
He also emphasized the importance of getting a flu shot, which can help prevent people from catching the flu or at least lessen its effects. That way, if someone does contract the coronavirus, their immune system will be in better shape to fight it off.
Marin County and San Francisco have yet to see coronavirus and flu coinfections, their health departments said.
— Laura Klivans (@lauraklivans)