As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the world, nursing homes and aged care facilities are particularly vulnerable to outbreaks due to the close proximity of residents and staff. It is crucial for healthcare providers in these facilities to be able to accurately diagnose and differentiate between flu and COVID-19 in order to provide timely and appropriate care to those who have contracted the illness.
One effective tool for early and accurate identification of COVID-19 and flu is rapid antigen testing. These tests can provide results within minutes and can be used as a screening tool to identify potential cases of COVID-19 and flu in nursing homes and aged care facilities. The TouchBio Flu A/B and Covid-19 Rapid Antigen Tests , available from TouchBio Australia, is a rapid antigen test that can detect both COVID-19 and influenza A/B in a single test, providing a comprehensive diagnostic solution with the Highest Sensitivity in the market as of today.
The Benefits of Early Detection and Accurate Diagnosis in Aged Care Facilities
Differentiating between COVID-19 and flu is crucial because the appropriate treatment and management strategies for each illness are different. COVID-19 has been shown to be more severe, with a higher rate of hospitalization and death compared to the flu (1). In addition, COVID-19 is primarily spread through airborne transmission, making preventative measures such as wearing masks and social distancing more effective at preventing its spread than the flu, which is primarily spread through respiratory droplets (2).
How Agedcare Providers Can Protect Residents with Effective Diagnosis, Prevention Strategies, and Vaccination Programs
Vaccination programs are also important in preventing the spread of both illnesses in nursing homes and aged care facilities. Currently, there are several vaccines that are effective at preventing the flu, while there is only one vaccine that has been approved for the prevention of COVID-19 (3). Implementing vaccination programs for both illnesses is important in order to protect the residents of nursing homes and aged care facilities from contracting these illnesses.
In summary, accurately differentiating between flu and COVID-19 in nursing homes and aged care facilities is essential for providing appropriate care and preventing the spread of these illnesses. Rapid antigen testing with products like the COMBO-RAT COVID test from Touch Australia can provide a quick and accurate diagnosis, allowing for timely intervention and management. Healthcare providers in nursing homes and aged care facilities should be trained to accurately diagnose and manage both illnesses in order to protect the health and safety of their residents.
Author: Ameer S.
(1) CDC. Influenza (Flu). https://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.html
(2) CDC. Transmission of SARS-CoV-2: Implications for Infection Prevention Precautions. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/transmission-control.html
(3) FDA. Emergency Use Authorizations for Medical Products and Related Authorities. https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/mcm-legal-regulatory-and-policy-framework/emergency-use-authorizations-medical-products-and-related-authorities#covid19vaccines