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From The Doctors, Illness

One Simple Test for RSV, COVID, Flu Strains

December 20, 2022

You may have heard the term tripledemic being tossed around in recent weeks. This refers to the fact that COVID, flu and RSV are circulating at the same time and causing considerable illness. Do you need to be concerned? No, but you should be aware. If you are experiencing viral symptoms such as a runny nose, cough, or fever, a simple test is available to tell you which virus (if any of those three) is responsible.

The quad viral panel is a PCR test that checks for COVID, influenza A and B, and RSV. Results are available the next day from our in-house lab. Our urgent care and our COVID, cold & flu clinics are open seven days a week, with appointments available same-day. Schedule online or simply walk-in.

Different Diagnosis, Different Care Plan

Some viruses simply require watching and waiting, while others have available treatment. Getting a simple PCR test will help determine your care plan.

  • RSV does not have a specific treatment. Things to watch out for include difficulty breathing, particularly in premature infants, young children or immunocompromised individuals. Beyond that, plenty of fluids and rest is recommended.
  • COVID antiviral treatment (prescription Paxlovid) is available at Innovative Care. We carry this prescription at our urgent care and COVID, cold and flu clinics to save you time at the pharmacy. A list of qualifying factors can be found on our website.
  • Flu antiviral medications are available by prescription. Your provider will recommend the appropriate treatment if applicable, based on your specific symptoms and medical history.
Do I Need to Quarantine?

Depending on your diagnosis, there are different guidelines for isolation and masking.

  • RSV is contagious for 3-8 days. People with RSV should take care to avoid certain patient populations like premature infants, people with lung disease and immunocompromised adults.
  • COVID requires isolation for at least five days following the onset of symptoms or your positive COVID test. Certain venues such as work or schools may have different requirements. Specific factors such as being fever-free, a negative COVID test and the severity of your symptoms impact isolation and distancing protocols. With COVID, it is also important to avoid vulnerable patient populations such as infants, the elderly, and anyone who is immunocompromised until you have a negative COVID test.
  • Flu is contagious for up to seven days from symptom onset. Current flu guidelines are to stay home until you are fever free for a minimum of 24 hours. People with the flu need to take extra precautions around those with asthma, pregnant women, people ages 65 and older and immunocompromised patients.

If you are feeling crummy, schedule an appointment online. Our team will evaluate your symptoms, test you, and help you get the answers you need.

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