There could be a joint test for influenza and COVID-19 by next month
Charles University is developing a joint test with the private sector for influenza and coronavirus. The test could be on the market as soon as mid-September, Charles University Rector Tomáš Zima told reporters after talks with Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. Together with Eva Zažímalova, President of the Academy of Sciences, the Prime Minister was informed today that the academic community is ready to provide its testing capacities in the autumn, just as it did in the spring. There would be thousands of tests a day.
Hygienists warn against possible autumn and winter concurrence of influenza and coronavirus of a new type, which has similar symptoms. They point out that patients with severe flu and severe COVID-19 need the same beds with oxygen or lung ventilators in hospitals. Also, people with the flu will be weakened and could be at greater risk for coronavirus infection.
While scientists are still working to develop the COVID vaccine, flu vaccines are available every year. The Czech Republic promised about 70,000 more doses from manufacturers than last year, when there were 800,000.
According to the government’s commissioner for health research Roman Prymula, about 75 percent of people from risk groups, especially the elderly or the chronically ill, should be vaccinated against influenza. In reality, despite having a vaccine paid for by public health insurance, only about 30 percent of seniors are vaccinated. Many countries affected by the newest strain of coronavirus plan to increase their vaccinations against the flu in the coming months.