Brittany Hockley has COVID and the flu at the same time. This is what she says it feels like.

Australia's had two years of incredibly low influenza rates thanks to COVID-19 isolation, but 2022 had other plans

Brittany Hockley, reality TV star turned podcaster, influencer and radio presenter, shared this week that she has been diagnosed with both COVID and influenza at the same time, leading her to have to go to the hospital for treatment. 

As she shared on Instagram: "I'm literally the sickest I have ever been."

And she's not the only one. There has been a major rise in influenza 'flu' cases across the country, and COVID numbers have been ticking away too

Watch: Dr Lucy Morgan on what it's like to have COVID-19. Post continues below.

Video via 9News

She took to her Instagram stories on Sunday, saying it was day five of COVID and influenza, which she has "very, very badly".

"I had to go to hospital. Thought I was dying," she said through coughs. 

"I know that sounds dramatic. But I called Sherri [Brittany's sister] on the way to the hospital and said 'I feel sick and that something is really wrong'. I was getting these really bad stabbing pains in my stomach, my whole body was shutting down, I couldn't breathe properly, I thought I was going to pass out."

She recounted the moment she turned up at the hospital and when the nurse asked her what was wrong, Brittany said she just knew something wasn't right. 

"I felt like I've never felt before."

Five days ago, Brittany's health was completely fine. She was healthy, fit, eating well, walking the dog, going to the gym every day and working decent hours. And almost overnight, the symptoms hit her "like a bus". 

"I wake up and my sheets are soaked [from sweat]. I just couldn't move [out of bed] from the fevers. Every part of my body is in agony... My head hasn't stopped pounding for two days, to the point I'm vomiting and nothing will fix it. I can't even walk that far now in my own house. A couple of metres and I'm out of breath. It's been a battle. It's been the worst week of my life for sure. It's been a very emotional five days. I've never felt worse."


Image: Instagram.

She shared that she has since come home after her hospital stay and she's started to eat – albeit nothing major. But it's a step forward, considering she was previously struggling to keep food down.

"If you haven't had your flu shot, this is your reminder to go and get it. I'm literally the sickest I have ever been with the flu and I didn't get my flu shot in time and I feel like I'm dying. So yeah, go and get your flu shot so you don't end up like this," she said.

As for what the next few days look like for Brittany, she said she's hoping her health gets better and the symptoms clear as quickly as they came. 

"I'm so tired. Sleeping is hard though, because you're in so much pain. My throat feels like razor blades, I have every single symptom under the sun that you could write."

She still has her classic sense of humour though, adding on her Instagram stories: "I look like death, like maybe slightly warmed up. Like if you put death in the airfryer for ten seconds, that's what I look like. But thank you to everyone who has reached out to me. My voice is going now."

Image: Instagram.


If COVID-19 hasn't been on your radar at the moment, you're not alone.

Federal health figures show only 598 laboratory-confirmed influenza cases were reported around Australia in the year to November 2021. But in the first four months of 2022, 5,049 cases were recorded nationally. And that number continues to rise dramatically.

As for COVID numbers, they're steadily rising too. According to a new study out, almost four million Australian adults had contracted COVID-19 by February this year. The vast majority of these infections are believed to have occurred during the Omicron wave that began in December 2021, sweeping first through numerous states.

According to the latest federal government data, there have been almost eight million coronavirus cases in Australia since the pandemic began in 2020.

Listen to The Quicky's latest episode on this topic. Post continues after audio.

And just last month, our country currently has the highest per capita infection rate in the world excluding the islands of Montserrat, Anguilla and The Falklands.

In NSW, there were many emergency department presentations for 'influenza-like illness' requiring an admission. The proportion of presentations that were admitted to hospital was highest for people aged 65 years and over (53 per cent), 35-64 years (14 per cent) and children aged zero to four years (15 per cent).

The total number of Australians killed by the virus is over 9,200.

It's a sobering reminder for people to continue following government advice and get their annual flu shot and vaccine booster doses if eligible. 

"It's a vicious cycle. I didn't think it was this possible to deteriorate this rapidly, but there you go," Brittany said. 

"Even the very young, very fit, very healthy people are not immune to getting COVID and the flu severely. I think this is a testament that just being healthy and young isn't enough."

Feature Image: Instagram @brittany_hockley.

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