Some PCR Testing In NSW And Qld Is Also Checking For The Flu & Other Yuck Respiratory Viruses

ocr testing flu covid hsv nsw queensland

PCR testing at COVID clinics and hospitals in New South Wales are also screening samples for the flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) as illness rates rise across Australia. That’s bloody great news for those of us who don’t test positive for the spicy cough and are left wondering what other lurgy is possessing our bodies instead.

People in NSW have noticed their text message results for PCRs have started to include results for influenza and RSV, giving them further indication on whether they’re positive or negative for those viral illnesses too.

This simultaneous testing is happening at all state-run fever clinics and hospitals, and some (but not all) privately-owned pathology practices.

A workmate of mine in Sydney actually got their PCR results back this week and found the sickness they have isn’t actually COVID and is the flu itself. So now they have the ability to focus on doing what they need to get over the flu instead.

PCR test flu influenza rsv COVID
[Image: Supplied]
Honestly, this is great information to have so we can then go on to treat that illness instead of just thinking “ah well it must just be something that isn’t COVID”. That clarity on what’s going on helps so damn much.

Per The Guardian, Queensland Health is set to roll out the same simultaneous testing as NSW. So when you pull up to a fever clinic or hospital to get a nasal swab, you’ll likely get multiple test results back in your text from the pathology labs.

“Queensland Health fully supports the AHPPC statement on winter season preparedness which includes expanded and targeted testing for COVID-19 and influenza over winter,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

“Queensland Health is working toward routine combined testing for COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses such as influenza.”

Simultaneous testing for respiratory illnesses other than COVID that have flu-like symptoms hasn’t been rolled out in Victoria. The Vic Department of Health said in a statement it has not told pathology labs to screen for anything other than COVID with PCR tests.

Testing for the flu and HSV is done by doctor’s request or referral in Victoria and must be reported by the GP if a test comes back positive.

“Pathology providers have not been instructed to test for influenza and RSV when testing for COVID-19,” the statement read.

“Victorian labs have been informed that when conducting testing for flu and RSV, they must notify the Department of Health and the referring doctor of a positive result.”

So if you’re in NSW or Queensland and you wanna check if your current lurgy is COVID, the flu or another respiratory virus, you can now do that through state-run testing clinics and hospitals.