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BANJA LUKA, SEPTEMBER 27 /SRNA/ - Epidemiologist Jela Aćimović said that PCR testing will be the basic diagnostic method that will confirm whether a patient has the coronavirus or has contracted seasonal flu, since a simultaneous infection is possible and that numerous symptoms are similar.


"When we talk about the clinical picture, it is true that a number of symptoms can occur in both influenza and Covid-19 such as fever, ague, cough, fatigue, muscle aches, etc. However, some of the symptoms are more characteristic of one, and the other for another disease", Aćimović said in an interview with SRNA.

As an example, she mentioned shortness of breath and loss of the senses of smell and taste, which is very characteristic of the coronavirus, and a person with these symptoms is considered a probable case.

"There are also differences in the medical reports that are being made, including blood tests, a chest x-ray. People infected with Covid-19 and pneumonia have a characteristic a lung scan, which can clearly point to the right diagnosis. Also, the epidemiological factors will make it easier to get the right diagnoses, for example, if someone was in contact with a person positive on Covid-19", Aćimović added.

She mentioned that in the upcoming season of flu and other respiratory infections, a special challenge will be to differentiate between different diseases, i.e. different causes.

"If someone has Covid-19, even when it comes to symptoms that disappear in a day or two, that person is potentially contagious for two weeks from the onset of symptoms and must remain in isolation during that time. A person who has the flu is contagious five to seven days and he can return to work, school, or normal life earlier", Aćimović explained.

She expects that the measures that are being implemented in order to reduce the spread of Covid-19 will help to reduce other respiratory infections this season, including seasonal flu, but she pointed out that vaccination is the most effective.

According to her, the seasonal flu vaccine should be used by as large a percentage of the population as possible, to protect vulnerable people and those who are more likely to develop a more severe form, such as the elderly and people with chronic diseases. /end/bo