By Jeff Todd

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – With similar symptoms like fever, tiredness, cough, and shortness of breath… doctors around the Denver metro area will have another tool to determine if patients are sick with COVID-19 or influenza.

(credit: CBS)

“I think we’re preparing for the worst. We’re making sure that we have good protocols to triage patients,” said Dr. Scott Joy, the Chief medical Officer for HealthONE Physician Services Group. “Testing is going to be very important this flu season.”

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Dr. Joy showed CBS4 the new testing machine at Englewood Primary Care, which can test for COVID, flu, or Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). But doctors are likely to rely more heavily on another new test. Recently Labcorp was given emergency authorization for an at-home test that can detect both the coronavirus and the flu.

(credit: CBS)

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“We’re going to have the ability to send testing kits to patients’ homes from reputable lab sources. We’re all very sensitive now to infection control and limiting our exposure to patients who are acutely infectious,” Dr. Joy said.

Since the pandemic, telehealth has become a much more common practice for many doctors. The at-home test allows patients to limit exposure to other people. But a quick response is required. Dr. Joy says flu patients need to start anti-viral medication within two days of the onset of symptoms.

(credit: CBS)

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“I think this is a new technology that is interesting for us to see how it is going to work and I’m sure we’ll learn a lot from it,” Dr. Joy said.

Jeff Todd