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Erie County Department of Health adds testing for influenza & RSV to COVID-19 testing


Mon, Dec 20th 2021 05:30 pm

The Erie County Public Health Lab has added testing for influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) to the COVID-19 PCR testing offered through the Erie County Department of Health.

With the Erie County Public Health Lab’s new molecular diagnostic testing technology, all samples collected for a COVID-19 PCR diagnostic test through ECDOH will also be tested for influenza A, influenza B and RSV from the same swab.

“RSV, influenza and COVID-19 can cause similar respiratory symptoms. 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,” Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein said. “This ‘multiplex’ testing was made possible through an investment in our Public Health Lab equipment. Our public health laboratorians and technicians have done considerable work to calibrate the equipment and prepare it for expanded use.”

Individuals with a positive COVID-19 test result will be called by a case investigator with instructions on how to isolate and reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in their household. Individuals with a positive RSV or influenza test result will be called and instructed to talk to their doctor’s office or an urgent care facility about treatment options or medical care. All individuals will be notified of their results within one to three business days.

The rapid COVID-19 diagnostic tests offered to symptomatic K-12 students and symptomatic K-12 school staff use a different test platform, and do not detect those other viruses.

Erie County residents can schedule a free diagnostic test for COVID-19, RSV and influenza through ECDOH by calling 716-858-2929. Appointments are required.

For more:

√ ECDOH COVID-19 vaccine info and clinic schedule: http://www.erie.gov/vax

√ ECDOH COVID-19 information line: 716-858-2929 – foreign language interpretation available

√ ECDOH COVID-19 weekly data updates: https://www2.erie.gov/health/index.php?q=covid-19-media-data

√ New York State Department of Health, COVID-19 boosters: http://ny.gov/boosters

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