Testing

November 2, 2020

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Anchor lead: How can you be tested to tell the difference between the flu and Covid-19? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Both Sars-CoV2 and the flu are circulating right now, and if you think you may have one of these infections it’s important to be tested. That’s according to Lisa Maragakis, an infectious disease expert at Johns Hopkins.

Maragakis: The gold standard for testing for respiratory viruses is PCR testing. Our hope is that soon we will have platforms for PCR that will look, from one sample, for a variety of viruses, including Sars-CoV2, influenza viruses, respiratory syncytial virus for instance.   :18

Maragakis says the likelihood of having both viruses as the same time – known as coinfection – isn’t known.

Maragakis: We don’t have a lot of information yet about coinfection but what we do know is that more than one respiratory virus can infect a person at the same time. So we often see coinfection with other types of respiratory viruses and we have reason to believe that that will be the case this time as well.  :19

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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