Fact check: Antigen kit tests COVID-19 and influenza separately – USA TODAY

by | Dec 5, 2022 | COVID-19

The claim: A COVID-19 and influenza dual-testing kit proves they are the same thingWith the flu season now underway, social media users are claiming, once again, that influenza and COVID-19 are the same virus. An Instagram post (direct link, archive link) features a picture of an at-home kit that tests for both COVID-19 and the flu.”So you can buy a test kit for COVID19 and Influenza A&B,” reads the Nov. 27 post’s text. “Conclusion: 1. COVID19 no real difference than the flu (sic) 2. That’s why there mysteriously was NO FLU last year – all misdescribed as COVID19.”Similar iterations of the claim have been shared on Facebook and Twitter.But the claim is false. The kit tests for COVID-19 and influenza separately. The two illnesses differ in prevention, long-term effects and transmissibility, and they are caused by different viruses.Follow us on Facebook! Like our page to get updates throughout the day on our latest debunks When USA TODAY reached out to the user who shared the post for comment they said they had seen the claim on their local news but provided no evidence proving it.Flu and Covid are different, and antigen kit tests the viruses separatelyThough COVID-19 and the flu are both respiratory illnesses with similar symptoms, they are not the same. USA TODAY has previously debunked claims that the coronavirus does not exist and is only a flu strain. While COVID-19 is caused by SARS-CoV-2, a new coronavirus, the flu is caused by the influenza A and B viruses.Fact check: Omicron coronavirus variant is not the common coldThe effects of the two viruses are also not the same for many people.COVID-19 is much deadlier than the flu. While the World Health Organization estimates that about 290,000 to 650,000 deaths are caused by the flu every year, more than 6 million deaths were caused by COVID-19 in the first two years of the pandemic alone. The coronavirus also leaves many people with long-term effects, such as shortness of breath and changes in smell and taste, and it can spread more easily, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Both COVID-19 and flu vaccines must be administered to protect against the two viruses. The claim that there were no flu cases last year is also false. According to the CDC, cases during the 2020-2021 season were low, but there was still flu activity. An est …

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