During flu season, you better not fall ill. When that happens, and you go to a doctor, you’ll have to get swabbed twice. One swab will be for flu, while the other will be for COVID-19. Since the coronavirus shares symptoms with the flu, doctors have to ensure you don’t carry the virus.
COVID-19 and Flu Season
The Verge says that sorting flu from COVID-19 is essential. While you receive similar treatment for COVID-19 and flu, doctors have to be more careful if you do have COVID-19. Not only should you go home to rest, but you should also check if your symptoms are worsening. Doctors would also need to contact trace to ensure that the people you interacted with do not spread the virus.
— The Verge (@verge) October 4, 2020
What Are the COVID-19 Tests?
Some companies do offer testing kits that can test for flu and COVID-19 at once. For example, companies Roche and Cepheid can do joint testing. The CDC has also given joint testing options to public health labs. While this could be the best approach, most places do not have this option. You’d still have to get two swabs.
For separate testing, you’ll get a rapid flu test, while you get a gene-based COVID-19 test. The gene-based test is slower. Doctors could send your genetic tests to a lab, which might release results after a few days. However, you can go to a walk-in COVID-19 testing site for a rapid test. If that test comes back negative, then you can get flu tests from your doctor.
Benefits of Increased COVID-19 Testing
Increased testing could allow more people to get better treatment. However, treatment might be costly. If people find testing too pricey, they might not get COVID-19 tests.