Public Health Lab Assistant Abraham Jimenez receives the specimen the Central Accessioning which is the in-take area to begin the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for COVID-19 on March 19, 2020. Jimenez decontaminates the outside of the container, and gives the sample an accession number to coincide with lavatory information system. ( Photo Credit: Los Aneles County )

What You Need to Know About Dual COVID-19/FLU (Influenza A and B) Testing

Can you have COVID-19 and the flu at the same time?

Yes, it is possible to have both viruses at the same time.

How do COVID-19 and the flu spread?

Both diseases can spread from close contact (6 feet) with someone who is infected. The viruses travel through droplets from talking, sneezing, or coughing. Physical contact can also cause infection. Covering your mouth and nose (wearing face coverings), washing hands regularly, and keeping your distance from others (at least 6 feet) is the best way to prevent the spread.

Both conditions can spread before the symptoms appear. If you have been in contact with someone who might have the flu or COVID-19, it is important to know that flu symptoms take about 4 days to appear and COVID-19 symptoms take between 2 to 14 days to appear.

Is COVID-19 more contagious than the flu?

COVID-19 is considered more contagious by the CDC; however both are highly contagious virusesCovering your mouth and nose (wearing face coverings), washing hands regularly, and keeping your distance from others (at least 6 feet) is the best way to prevent the spread.  Additionally, the flu remains contagious up to 7 days after symptoms appear, while COVID-19 for up to 10 days.

Who is at the most risk for COVID-19 and the flu?

Older adults, pregnant women, and people with underlying medical conditions are at risk of severe difficulties from both COVID-19 and the flu.  Children and infants are at a higher risk for flu complications than COVID-19. However, children infected with COVID-19 are more vulnerable to rare complications like Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome.   Vaccines are available for both COVID-19 and the flu.

What do I do if I am diagnosed with either virus? Are the treatment plans the same?

When diagnosed with a positive for COVID-19, it is most important to quarantine and isolate to avoid spreading the virus to others.  There is no other significant difference in treatment for COVID-19 and the flu. Complications for people at higher risk can be severe. Contact your doctor if you have had a fever for 3 or more days in a row.

Do I need to take a separate test or appointment to get results for COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) or the flu (Influenza A and Influenza B)?

No, only 1 appointment and 1 sample is necessary. The lab will look for COVID-19 (known as the SARS-CoV-2 virus) and the flu (known as Influenza A and Influenza B viruses) at some testing locations.

Can I opt-out of Influenza A and/or Influenza B testing? Could I choose to sign up for only one of the tests?

The lab will test for COVID-19 and Flu (Influenza A & B) at the same time. You cannot opt-out of one of the tests if you choose to go to a location that offers testing by Fulgent Genetics.

How do I get my test results?

Results for the COVID-19 and Flu (Influenza A and B) test will be available from the Healthvana.com website. There is no change in testing or result reporting if you have tested with us before.

Is there a charge for the COVID-19 + Flu test?

No, there is no additional charge.  Insurance information may be collected, and the cost incurred for all tests are covered by your insurance provider or by Los Angeles County.