“There’s one other aspect of it: The very areas where we are seeing an increase in RSV cases are the areas that have the lowest uptake of the COVID vaccine and the highest case rates of infection,” Poland said. “You cannot distinguish them just by clinical symptoms, unless you had the loss of taste and smell, which would push you toward saying, ‘Well, this is likely to be COVID.’ The only thing you can do is the swab nasal test to distinguish the infection.”
Under normal circumstances before the COVID-19 pandemic, your respiratory infection could be thought of as a cold.
But now, it could be COVID-19.
“And even though your symptoms don’t get worse, you could still spread it to other people. There’s nothing to stop you from being coinfected. Last year, we were talking about the possibility of a twin pandemic: COVID-19 and influenza. There’s nothing to prevent that from happening.”
If you have a respiratory infection, Poland recommended seeing a health care provider and get tested.
“It is important to seek medical care to get that swab because if it’s influenza, we can treat it. If it’s RSV or COVID-19, and it advances or gets worse, there are things we can do ― and it’s important to know what the diagnosis is ― including masking, quarantining and isolating so that you don’t spread it to other people.”
Poland urged everyone eligible to get vaccinated for COVID-19.
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