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HomeFinlandFinnish Pharmacies Offer "Triple Tests" for Covid, Influenza and RSV

Finnish Pharmacies Offer “Triple Tests” for Covid, Influenza and RSV

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Pharmacies in Finland have started selling home testing kits that can detect three seasonal respiratory illnesses, including Covid, influenza A and B and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus).

Demand for the “tripledemic” tests has been high recently, according to Henni Timisjärvi, a pharmacist at the Avainapteekki pharmacy in the Munkkivuori district of Helsinki.

“Some suppliers have temporarily run out,” Timisjärvi explained.

The multiple test kits are similar to their single Covid home test counterparts, but at about 10 euros apiece they do cost more.

Apteekit myyvät nyt yhdistelmäkotitestejä, joilla voi samaan aikaan testata sekä influenssan että koronan.
Pharmacies now sell home testing kits that can detect Covid, influenza A and B, and there are other tests that also detect RSV. Image: Ari Welling / Yle

The Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) has advised that people can use home testing kits. But the test results should be treated with some caution, according to THL lead expert, Niina Ikonen.

Ikonen said that she would not recommend home tests for generally healthy people with symptoms they can handle at home. For them, the specific virus that caused the illness is not necessarily important, she pointed out.

The most important thing people with symptoms should do is to stay home and avoid contact with others, particularly the elderly.

However, Ikonen said, taking a multiple test at home might be a good option for someone belonging to a risk group.

If a test result is positive, the next step is to call a doctor for further guidance, Ikonen explained.

Last week, THL reported that the number of Covid cases were rising in Finland. But, so far this season, only a small number of influenza and RSV cases have been filed at the National Infectious Diseases Register. Generally, RSV and influenza epidemics do not begin until the beginning of the new year.

However, Ikonen warned people with symptoms to avoid visiting the elderly, as many respiratory infections — not just Covid or influenza — can cause serious illness in older people.

Source: Yle

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