• Is It COVID-19, Flu, RSV or Something Else?

    Information provided by Quest Diagnostics


    Respiratory tests can help you make a precise diagnosis

    This flu season, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) rates are rising,1 and we’re still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), influenza A or B (flu), RSV, and other respiratory infections can present with similar symptoms, such as2:

    • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue (tiredness)
    • Sore throat
    • Runny or stuffy nose
    • Muscle pain or body aches
    • Headache
    • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

    The CDC states that clinicians are encouraged to consider testing for other viral causes of respiratory illness, for example, influenza, in addition to testing for SARS-CoV-2.3

    That’s why it’s important to consider testing for each of these contagious illnesses at the same time—especially for children, older adults, pregnant women, and people with underlying conditions or compromised immune systems.

    Co-testing options with Quest Diagnostics

    Testing options use a single specimen to co-test for common respiratory pathogens, which helps expedite diagnosis so you can develop an appropriate treatment/care plan.

    Visit the Quest Diagnostics COVID-19 + flu co-testing webpage to learn more.


    1. CDC. RSV national trends. Updated August 25, 2021. Accessed August 26, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/surveillance/nrevss/rsv/natl-trend.html
    2. CDC. Similarities and differences between flu and COVID-19. Updated June 7, 2021. Accessed September 1, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/symptoms/flu-vs-covid19.htm
    3. CDC. Interim clinical guidance for patients with confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Updated February 16, 2021. Accessed September 1, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/clinical-guidance-management-patients.html


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