It’s normal for the winter bring an increase in respiratory viruses, but this year has seen both flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) circulating earlier than normal in the U.S. This early flu and RSV activity, combined with COVID-19, has led to surges in hospitalizations across the country in what some are calling a “tripledemic.”

With many hospitals around the country already feeling the strain of surging flu and RSV cases, it’s important to understand these viruses and their symptoms, as well as your options for testing.

RSV vs. COVID-19 vs. flu.  How do they compare?

RSV symptoms—like flu and COVID-19 symptoms—are typically mild but can become serious and require hospitalization in some cases, particularly in infants, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to know the difference between flu, COVID-19 and RSV because they share so many symptoms—including cough, runny nose, fever and sore throat. But there are some differences.

For example, where flu symptoms tend to come on quickly and intensely, RSV and COVID-19 symptoms can take longer to evolve. Fever is another example, appearing more frequently in those with flu and COVID-19 than in those with RSV.

You can learn more about the specific differences between these viruses and their symptoms on our blog, but there’s only one way to be sure what’s causing your symptoms: testing.

Test for COVID-19, flu and RSV—with one swab

We offer the only at-home collection kit that tests for COVID-19, flu and RSV with a single swab. Our easy-to-use COVID-19+Flu+RSV home collection PCR test is available for $0 upfront cost with insurance for ages 2 and up. Contact your doctor or request a home collection kit through Labcorp OnDemand.

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