COVID-19 and the seasonal flu may have similar symptoms but there is an easy quick test that will tell you which one you have.
COVID-19 is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Seasonal flu is often caused by either influenza A or influenza B.
How can you know which virus you have? The rapid antigen tests for SARS-CoV-2, influenza A, and influenza B. One test for three viruses. A nasopharyngeal swab (swab that goes up the nose and to the back of the throat) is needed for the test. The test is designed to be taken with in the first 5 days of symptoms. The test takes 15 minutes for results.
If you show a positive COVID-19 result, a doctor may want a molecular PCR test to confirm the result.
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Below is educational information on how the sample collection and testing is done.
Rapid Antigen Sample Collection and Instructions
To test, use the provided swab to insert into your nose while your head is tilted back. Do not push the swab upward, instead the swab should travel parallel to the jaw. Slowly remove the swab while rotating it.
COVID-19 or Flu Antigen Test Procedure
- Once you have a sample, tear of the tab of the capsule of reagent. Squeeze the capsule into the well of the device. All of the reagent in one (1) capsule is to be use for one (1) test.
- Insert the swab with the sample into the swab stand and rotate it three (3) times.
- Wait one (1) minute.
- Rotate again three (3) times.
- Remove the swab stand and discard the swab.
- Raise the device upright, vertically. Let it stand upright for two (2) seconds. Gently tap the device to make sure the liquid is flowing.
- Lay the device back down horizontally and start a fifteen (15) minute timer.
- After fifteen (15) minutes read the results. Don’t read the results after twenty (20) minutes.
COVID-19 or Flu Results
There should always be a red band next to the letter C. The C stands for control. If there was not a red band next to C then the device and test was not valid. If there is only a red band on C then the device did not detect antigens of the three viruses; SARS-CoV-2, influenza A, or influenza B. If there was a red band on C and CoV19 then the device detected the antigen for SARS-CoV-2, the virus of COVID-19.
It is possible to be infected with both COVID-19 and influenza, but this is very rare.
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Taking a nasopharyngeal swab is difficult and should only be done by a medical professional.
This is not medical advice. This is only for educational purposes.