COVID-19 infections are increasingly spreading in Croatia. Dr. Jasmina Vraneš from NZJZ “Dr. Andrija Štampar” was a guest on the HRT show “Good Morning, Croatia” and said that the first Flurona case in Croatia had been detected. ‘Flurona’ is when a person is infected with coronavirus and influenza.
The number of tests is increasing, but the share of positive tests is also growing.
“Yesterday we detected about 50 percent positives, which is a lot compared to a week ago when it was about 30%. So infections are on the rise; it is the same in Zagreb as in other parts of Croatia,” said Dr. Jasmina Vraneš, MD, Head of the Clinical Microbiology Department of the National Institute of Public Health “Dr. Andrija Štampar.”
Dr. Vraneš adds that it is rare for someone to get sick from COVID three times, but some have had the illness twice, even though they have been vaccinated.
“Especially if they are prone or have a predisposition, it would be crucial for them to receive the third “booster” dose. After five months, the amount of antibodies is greatly reduced for those who have been vaccinated, and for some types of vaccines, there are no antibodies at all. So, one should have been vaccinated and vaccinated again.”
They are closely monitoring the omicron-variant.
“It is essential for us to see when there will be a free transmission, to see when omicron will circulate among the population. We are detecting it for now in those people who have an epidemiological history. So, if they were in contact with people from countries where it predominates, if they traveled, then in such a group, we see that we already have 20-30% positives on this variant,” adds Dr. Vraneš.
Omicron spreads much easier and binds more quickly, so the incubation is much shorter – approximately 5 to 7 days, she adds.
Omicron may have milder symptoms in patients. However, in the UK, where it is dominant, many had received their booster shot.
There is also a lot of talk about milder clinical pictures in South Africa, where omicron was first detected.
“But they have a younger population than us; they don’t have a lot of immunocompromised people.”
When asked if there is a chance that omicron will not spread in Croatia, Dr. Vraneš said there is no chance.
She also revealed that the first Flurona case, or when a person is infected with coronavirus and flu at the same time, has been detected in Croatia.
“Yesterday, we detected both viruses in the patient. Influenza virus and coronavirus. It is not unknown that it is possible to become infected with multiple pathogens at once. Flu is the flu in English, so they call it Flurona. The flu starts usually between Christmas and Easter. It was not there last year, but we had cases over the summer. We need to see what the clinical picture will be in people who have both viruses at once,” she explains.
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