Creating a healthier, better connected Gippsland.

Testing for respiratory pathogens – Health Alert 15 June 2022

Date issued: 15 June 2022

Issued by: Associate Professor Deborah Friedman, Deputy Chief Health Officer (Communicable Disease)

Issued to: General Practitioners, respiratory clinics and Primary Health Networks

Key messages

  • Rapid testing for respiratory pathogens is critical in identifying outbreaks in the community and providing timely medical care, particularly for people at high risk of severe illness.
  • Many respiratory pathogens can cause similar symptoms early in the course of an illness.
  • Distinguishing between influenza, COVID-19 and other respiratory pathogens is particularly important in people at high-risk of severe illness as the treatments and public health measures differ.
  • Rates of seasonal influenza and other respiratory illnesses are increasing in Victoria.
  • In people at high-risk of severe illness presenting with respiratory illness, clinicians are asked to request a respiratory virus PCR panel, which includes influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in addition to COVID-19.
  • Clinicians are encouraged to provide influenza and COVID-19 vaccination to all eligible Victorians, and particularly to those at high-risk.

Read the full advisory: Testing for respiratory pathogens

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