If you see a doctor after developing flu-like symptoms during the flu season, you are likely to undergo two tests: one for influenza and one for a new crown,media reported. Unlike the flu season, when there is no new pandemic, doctors are not sure that the symptoms the patient is developing are from the flu. This will change the diagnosis of both diseases.
Memphis St. Richard Webby, an infectious disease researcher at Jude Children’s Research Hospital, says:
“This year, if it looks like flu, it could be flu — or it could be new coronary pneumonia.”
It will be important to distinguish between the two. But the treatment may not be much different: both patients with mild flu and those with mild neoprene pneumonia may be sent home for rest. But knowing someone has a new crown confirmed means they will be told to be aware of signs that the disease is getting worse. The diagnosis of the new crown also triggers public health interventions such as contact tracing.
Anthony Baffoe-Bonnie, director of infectious diseases at the Carilion Clinic in Virginia, says doctors often use fast flu tests in their offices and get results within 15 minutes. The flu season hasn’t started yet, so for now, the first step in treating any patient with respiratory symptoms will be to test them for a new crown. Once a flu test is positive in his area, an increase in flu testing will begin when the flu surveillance system begins to report that the virus is spreading.
There are several ways to detect influenza and new crowns at the same time: Health care companies Roche and Cepheid are licensed for joint testing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers methods for use in public health laboratories. But not every district and every hospital can use it — most places may have to rely on two separate tests.
The joint tests are currently being used for genetic testing: they look for fragments of influenza gene sequences and fragments of new coronavirus gene sequences. These types of testing require more specialized machines. Standard outpatient influenza tests are usually antigen tests designed to look for proteins that stand out outside the flu virus. These tests are fast and take 15 minutes to get results, but are often less accurate than genetic tests.
If joint testing is not possible, simultaneous influenza and new crown testing may mean a combination of the two types of testing. Some people may have a quick flu test, while a slower new gene-based crown test is also conducted. Doctors can decide to send genetic tests of the two viruses to the lab, but this could take several days. If the results are negative, people may go to a new crown testing station without an appointment for a quick test, and then go to a doctor for a flu test.
Edward Belongia, director of the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Population Health at the Marshfield Clinic Institute in Wisconsin, worries that while all of these tests can help patients get better treatment, they can also be very expensive. Under the CARES Act, passed at the start of the new crown epidemic in the United States, new crown testing should be free for patients. “That’s not the case with the flu,” he said. “In March and April, some patients who were thought to have contracted the new crown were charged thousands of dollars for testing for other respiratory viruses, such as influenza.
“We don’t want people to not do tests because they’re worried about the cost of lab tests,” Says Belongia. “