ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — As COVID-19 and flu cases rise, more people could get infected with flu and COVID-19 at the same time, which has been called ‘flurona.’

Dr. Jennifer Dillaha with the Arkansas Department of Health said the two illnesses together can be very serious.

“It’s not a good thing to get both, one itself is bad enough, but they both affect the lungs and if people have chronic underlying health conditions or weakened immune system, that could be a very big problem,” Dillaha said.

‘Flurona’ is not a new illness, instead it is two separate infections.

Dr. Dillaha said its hard to track how many people might have ‘flurona’ in the Natural State because people don’t have to report flu cases to the ADH. As Arkansas experiences more flu cases this season, more people could be infected with both illnesses compared to last year, Dr. Dillaha said.

The good news is that flu and COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing both of the illnesses.