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Erie County Dept. of Health to include influenza, RSV testing in COVID-19 PCR tests

Covid testing
Posted at 4:59 AM, Dec 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-21 04:59:22-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Erie County Department of Health says it will include testing for influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in its COVID-19 PCR tests.

In a release Monday, the health department said its new molecular testing technology allows them to test a single swab for all three viruses, all of which present similar symptoms.

“RSV, influenza and COVID-19 can cause similar respiratory symptoms," said Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein. "For people who are sick and want to know if one of these diseases is responsible for their illness, testing through ECDOH can detect each of these viruses."

The test results will come back from the county within three business days.

The county says it will contact anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 to instruct them on how to isolate and reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 in their home. Anyone who tests positive for RSV or the flu will be contacted and told to reach out to their doctor or an urgent care facility to discuss treatment options.

According to the release, the rapid COVID tests being used by schools to test students and staff use a different platform that cannot detect influenza or RSV.

The ECDOH says appointments are required for COVID-19 testing and that residents can schedule a free diagnostic test for COVID-19, RSV and influenza by calling (716) 858-2929.

You can also schedule an appointment for testing or vaccination, or learn more about the spread of COVID in your neighborhood by clicking one of the links below: