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Got the snivels? Get a Covid-19 test even if you think it’s only flu‚ says SA Medical Association

The SA Medical Association (Sama) has urged people to get tested for Covid-19 even if they think they have flu.

Speaking on eNCA‚ Sama vice chairperson Mvuyisi Mzukwa said there is a thin line between symptoms of the common flu and the Covid-19 Omicron variant.

“Early data on Omicron shows symptoms may be mild. This is why it’s important to test‚” said Mzukwa.

No matter how mild the symptoms may be‚ people need to get tested to make sure it’s not Covid-19.

“We are in the middle of a pandemic and need to make sure we don’t have Covid-19. There are cheaper tests now and government institutions if you don’t have medical aid. It’s important that you test‚ because you don’t know how that condition is going to progress.”

Sama chairperson Dr Angelique Coetzee‚ who was among the first to raise the alarm about the new variant‚ told BBC last week patients with Omicron present “unusual symptoms” that differ slightly from those associated with the Delta variant.

A male patient‚ about 33 years old‚ told her he’d been tired for a few days with body aches and pains and a slight headache.

Coetzee said the patient didn’t have a sore throat‚ but rather a “scratchy throat”‚ and had no cough or loss of taste.

Dr Marlin McKay told TimesLIVE people wondering whether they have flu or Covid-19 should isolate and get medical treatment.

“The impact of missing a Covid-19 diagnosis can be devastating on families‚ because they could go about thinking they have flu. My policy is everything is Covid-19 until proven otherwise.

“If you miss a flu diagnosis it is not too bad‚ but if you miss a Covid-19 diagnosis it can be catastrophic. If that person goes out and infects someone with comorbidities‚ they could die. I test anyone with symptoms suggestive of Covid-19.”

Source: ARENA Holdings.