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How To Get Checked For Flu

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List Of Omicron Variant Symptoms

Public, advised to isolate and get tested when experiencing flu

The variant has the same symptoms of COVID-19, but seems to spread more easily and quickly than other variants, which may lead to more cases of COVID-19, according to the CDC.

People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • Fatigue

  • New loss of taste or smell

  • Sore throat

  • Diarrhea

What Is The Covid Omicron Variant

The CDC announced the first known case of the omicron variant in the United States on Dec. 1, days after its rapid spread in South Africa and numerous mutations prompted worldwide concern.

Experts had been warning that the variant was likely already in the U.S. in the days before the announcement.

Viruses constantly mutate and there is a worry that some variants might evolve enough to be more contagious, cause more severe illness or evade the protection that vaccines provide.

The name came from the World Health Organization, which uses the Greek alphabet for notable variants of viruses.

Health experts said COVID-19 vaccines are less effective against the new strain, which may lead to more breakthrough infections. Boosters provide more protection against omicron, but the CDC reported only 30% of the eligible population has received their booster.

Is It The Flu A Cold Or The Omicron Variant How To Know And When To Get Tested For Covid

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The coronavirus pandemic in Florida is an evolving news story so some information in this article could be out of date. To stay connected with our comprehensive coverage of COVID-19 in Florida, .

Sneezing? Feeling congested? Coughing? Are these signs of flu season, a cold or allergies, or are they symptoms of COVID-19’s rapidly spreading omicron variant?

Without testing, it is difficult to determine whether the congestion is more than the flu, but either way, don’t panic, say medical experts, just take proper precautions.

“If you feel sick, dont diagnose yourself,” said Dr. Deborah German, Vice-President for Health Affairs and Dean, University of Central Florida College of Medicine. “Call your healthcare provider dont just show up to the clinic. Your provider can determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19 and what treatments you need.”

COVID cases rising again: Florida COVID-19 infections rise for third week as officials mum on details of omicron

Omicron is expected to become the dominant coronavirus variant in the European Union by mid-January, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Wednesday.

But how do you tell if you have it? For the average person, there may be no way to differentiate between the omicron variant and any other SARS-CoV-2 strains without tests.

  • Diarrhea

These are not the only possible symptoms, and everyone will react differently.

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What Factors Can Influence Results Of Rapid Influenza Diagnostic Tests

Many factors can influence the accuracy of RIDTs, including:

  • Clinical signs and symptoms consistent with the flu
  • Prevalence of influenza infection in the population tested
  • Time from illness onset to collection of respiratory specimens for testing
  • Type of respiratory specimen tested
  • Accuracy of the test compared to a reference test

Getting Tested For Influenza

How to Get Tested for Coronavirus?

Tests for influenza infection are often ordered by a doctor and conducted in a hospital, doctors office, or laboratory. Rapid flu tests may also be done in outpatient settings like health clinics or pharmacies.

Testing for influenza normally involves a swab of the area in the back of the nose, the inside of the nostril, and/or the throat. For most people, obtaining a sample is not painful and can be done in under a minute.

In addition to flu swabs, testing can be done with nasopharyngeal aspirates, which are samples removed through the nose with a suction device. Because they are more difficult and uncomfortable to obtain, nasopharyngeal aspirates are not commonly used for diagnostic testing.

The only type of flu testing that does not use a sample from the respiratory tract is serology testing, which is not used for flu diagnosis. Serology tests require a blood sample that is typically taken from a vein in the arm.

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Can I Have Flu And Covid

Yes. It is possible to have flu as well as other respiratory illnesses including COVID-19 at the same time. Health experts are still studying how common this can be.

Some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, making it hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. Diagnostic testing can help determine if you are sick with flu, COVID-19, or another respiratory infection.

What Happens If Youre Diagnosed With The Flu

If the flu virus is found early, your healthcare provider can prescribe antiviral medication right away. If you get diagnosed within two days after symptoms show up, these antiviral drugs can ease flu symptoms and shorten the illness.

Two days after the onset of symptoms, however, the antiviral medications wont work as well. In these cases, a healthcare provider might prescribe rest, fluids and over-the-counter remedies.

A flu test can also help your healthcare provider rule out giving you antibiotics, which wont work on a viral infection like the flu.

Testing can help healthcare providers reduce the spread of flu. Older adults or patients at high risk for flu should get tested immediately after suffering flu-like symptoms.

Flu tests can also help determine whether a flu outbreak is possible, especially in nursing homes and schools.

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Why Do You Need It

When your doctor finds the flu virus, they can give you antiviral drugs early on. This is when they work best. If you get diagnosed early — within 48 hours after symptoms show up — these drugs can ease your symptoms and shorten the illness by a day or so. After the first 2 days, though, these meds wont do much for you.

A flu test can also help your doctor rule out giving you antibiotics. Those dont work against viral infections like the flu.

Are Test Results Accurate

Should I get tested for the coronavirus? | ABC News

At-home influenza tests are widely used to identify infections, but, like any medical test, not 100% accurate. Results are dependent on the following factors:

Since multiple factors can be involved in interpreting the accuracy of influenza testing, it is best to discuss your at-home flu test result with a doctor who can explain how these factors apply in the context of your specific test outcome.

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How Contagious Is The Flu

You may be contagious one day before developing flu symptoms and five to seven days after symptoms present. This period of time can be extended for kids or people with weakened immune systems. Tips to defend yourself against influenza:

  • Get the flu shot before the end of October
  • Practice good hand hygiene
  • Exercise! It can help build your immune system
  • Practice relaxation techniques such as yoga. Your body can repair itself by limiting stress

Can You Get The Flu Twice

Yes, unfortunately, you can get the flu twice, three times or even more. There are many different strains of the flu and they are constantly changing. Small genetic changes can happen over time and as they add up, your body may not recognize the virus and be able to fight it. Occasionally, a major change may occur quickly . The annual flu vaccines are updated to combat the most common circulating viruses. Thats why it is so important to get the flu shot every year.

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Kansas Among States With Highest Flu Levels

Kansas is among the five states and territories with the highest flu activity levels in the country, according to data released last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The federal health agency reported increasing flu activity, with a high prevalence of the influenza A strain, especially among children and young adults. Flu hospitalizations are rising nationwide, and the first two pediatric flu deaths of the season were reported last week.

So far, flu vaccine uptake has been lower than last year.

“The flu season is just getting started,” CDC officials said. “Theres still time to get vaccinated. An annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect against flu and its potentially serious complications. CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine.”

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported an increase in flu hospitalizations and urged people to get vaccinated.

“We’re going to have flu this year,” said Rachael Liesman, director of KU’s clinical and molecular microbiology laboratories. “And I think that that’s gonna further stress our laboratory and our hospital.

She urged people to wear masks, wash their hands, and to get vaccinated against both the flu and COVID-19.

More data is needed to understand how well the rapid tests perform with the new variant.

More: Kansas hits 7,000 COVID deaths: ‘We have the tools to prevent further unnecessary deaths’

How Do You Treat The Flu

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Most people who get the flu will get better with rest and time. Antiviral drugs taken within the first 48 hours of flu signs can lessen flu symptoms and reduce the length of time you are sick by one to two days. Head to your family doctor or nearest urgent care if you think you may have the flu. If you missed this time window, many of the same remedies you use for a cold may help, such as getting plenty of rest and drinking lots of liquids. Many studies suggest chicken noodle soup can help reduce cold and flu symptoms.

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Can You Be Tested For Covid

Currently, the FDA has authorized several tests that have the ability to detect multiple viruses at the same time. Instead of taking separate tests for each virus, this option allows you to take just one test to help identify what is potentially causing your infection. Some of these tests can look for flu viruses, COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus , and several other respiratory infections. Others only test for flu viruses and COVID-19.

If you are looking for a testing site or provider, you can search for one here or access one online here.

What Are The Symptoms For A Cold

Like COVID, the symptoms of a cold are often coughing, sneezing, a runny or stuffy nose, a sore throat, tiredness and sometimes a fever. Symptoms usually appear one to three days after exposure to a cold-causing virus.

Unlike COVID, a cold is usually harmless and cold-sufferers generally recover in three to 10 days.

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What Is The Effectiveness Of Covid Vaccines Against The Omicron Variant

The CDC has updated its guidance, recommending that all adults 18 and older should get a booster shot either six months after their initial Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine series or two months after their initial J& J vaccine.

Tuesday, presidential health adviser Anthony Fauci said vaccinated Americans don’t need to cancel their gathering plans. “If you dont have the availability of the test and you are fully vaccinated and boosted, you should feel comfortable having a holiday meal or gathering with family members who are also vaccinated and boosted,” he said on NBC’s “Today.”

While some vaccinated people may get COVID-19 the risk of developing serious illness or dying is decreased, according to the government

If The Omicron Variant Spreads Here Will Florida See More Lockdowns Mask Mandates Or Vaccinate Mandates

In Denver, you can get tested for coronavirus without getting out of your car

No, according to Governor Ron DeSantis, who said at an event in Oldsmar that there would be no further lockdowns or other restrictions because of the omicron variant.

A special session of the Florida Legislature, demanded by DeSantis to undermine the COVID safety measures for large businesses from the Biden administration and stop local governments and schools from enacting their own, produced four laws, which added more opt-out options from federal COVID rules and banned all government and school COVID-related mandates, with stiff fines for violations.

Are vaccine mandates banned in Florida now? What happened in the Legislative Special Session

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How Long To Quarantine After Positive Covid Test

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday cut the amount of time it recommends people should isolate after testing positive for COVID-19, reducing the number of days from 10 to five.

Health officials similarly reduced the amount of time one should quarantine after coming into contact with someone who tests positive.

The changes come amid a recent surge in cases spurred by the omicron variant and concerns about staffing shortages at hospitals, airlines and businesses across the country. Research has suggested omicron, while more infectious, causes milder illness. CDC officials say the new guidance is in keeping with growing evidence that people with the coronavirus are most infectious in the two days before and three days after symptoms develop.

More: CDC cuts isolation time for Americans who test positive for COVID-19 from 10 days to 5: Updates

What To Do If You Think You Have The Flu

The flu can only be diagnosed by a health care provider. If youthink you have the flu, know that most people have mild symptoms andrecover without treatment. Still, the flu can be serious and certainpeople are more likely to develop complications. This includes people65 years and older, children five years and younger , children with neurologic conditions,pregnant women, and people with asthma, diabetes, cancer, heartdisease, stroke, human immunodeficiency virus or acquiredimmunodeficiency syndrome . If you have worrisome symptoms,arent getting better or are at risk for complications, contact yourhealth care provider. They can decide if you need to be tested forthe flu and recommend treatments.

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Groups Who Should Especially Get The Vaccine

The flu shot can protect you against the flu. Because of this, it can reduce your chances of being infected with COVID-19 and the flu at the same time. This can lead to serious complications. You should especially receive the flu vaccine this season if youre:

  • at high risk of severe COVID-19 related illness
  • capable of spreading the flu to those at high risk of severe illness related to COVID-19

The flu vaccine is especially important for the following groups.

How Long Does The Flu Test Take

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For both types of rapid flu test, your healthcare provider may use a nasal swab to wipe the inside of your nose or throat swab on the back of your throat. This testing portion takes only a few seconds, then the swab will be tested and youll wait for your results.

The time to get your results varies a bit depending on which test your provider uses. The rapid influenza diagnostic test gives the fastest result in 10 to 15 minutes. A rapid molecular assay will give you results in 15 to 30 minutes. Youll simply wait in the doctors office, and your healthcare provider will return once results are available.

Clinicians could choose instead to squirt some saline in your nose and collect the liquid for diagnostic testing instead of using the swab.

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Treating The Cold Or Flu When You Have Covid

By Keri Wiginton

Its possible to catch more than one respiratory virus at the same time. That means you could get a cold or the flu along with COVID-19. But so far, these coinfections havent happened enough for scientists to study them very much. Experts think thats due to all the physical distancing and other safety measures we took to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Theres some evidence your immune system might protect you from viral coinfections. But we need more research to know if thatll happen with COVID-19.

Ellen Foxman, MD, PhD, an immunobiologist with Yale Medicine and assistant professor of laboratory medicine and immunobiology at Yale School of Medicine, says it doesnt matter if you get the rhinovirus — the main cause of the common cold — or the viruses that cause flu or COVID-19.

Within a few days, your body turns on a really rapid antiviral defense system that protects against all viruses.

That means your odds of a second virus most likely go down shortly after you get the first one.

There was a huge drop in cold and flu illnesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. In turn, that lowered the chances of coinfections. Though, Foxman says this year might be different. If schools and workplaces reopen and there is less use of masks and social distancing, we are likely to see more flu, and this may include some flu and COVID-19 coinfections.

If you do get sick, here are some expert tips on how to get well.

Can You Buy Flu Test Over The Counter

At-home flu testing offers consumers a convenient way to test for influenza A and B in the comfort of their own homes. When experiencing common flu symptoms, such as fever, chills, muscle aches, or a sore throat, they can simply order an at-home flu testing kit online and receive results almost instantly.

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What Is The Flu

Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is an extremely contagious respiratory illness. The influenza virus actually stands for a group of related viruses. Flu symptoms include fever, chills, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headache, and fatigue. Symptoms last through the duration of the fluseven days or longer.

Though people can fall ill with the flu any time of year, cases peak during flu season, a time during the winter and early spring. Many medical professionals recommend that patients get a flu shot before flu season starts, to lessen the chances of falling ill. You can get a flu shot quickly and easily at FastMed.

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