CHICAGO - Hospitals and doctor's offices are already seeing more patients with respiratory issues.
"I'm seeing a wave of COVID. I'd say in the last couple of weeks, so a lot of calls related to COVID symptoms and testing positive, but then also a lot of upper respiratory symptoms that are unknown or undiagnosed," said Dr. Lisa Ravindra, a primary care Physician at Rush University Medical Center.
Dr. Ravindra says the symptoms are similar for the so-called "tripledemic" – which includes COVID, flu and RSV.
"Most of these upper respiratory viruses will have cough, nasal congestion, sore throat, runny nose, can have a fever. So, they all have similar overlapping symptoms," said Ravindra.
A company called Shield T3, a spin-out of the University of Illinois System’s Discovery Partners Institute, is responding to this confusing time by creating one test that screens for all three viruses.
"Being able to parse out what you actually have certainly helps you get the best care you can very quickly," said David Clark, Shield T3’s CEO.
U of I rolled out saliva based COVID-19 PCR tests in 2020, leading to quick testing on college campuses, K-12 schools and more. That is where they are now pushing the new Shield T3 test kit.
Drop in some drool and find out what ails you within 24 hours with the $70 test.
"A lot of medical diagnostics of the future going to be driven at home, rather than saying, 'Hey, I don't feel well. I better go to the doctor and get a test.' It's going to be, 'Hey, I don't feel well let me take a test. So when I call my doctor, I can let them know kind of what's going on,'" said Clark.
Dr. Ravindra from Rush says for people at higher risk, it's important to figure out which illness you have, so you can get the right treatment. Her advice for anyone with a respiratory illness is to try to isolate and put that mask back on.
She recommends getting the flu shot and updated COVID-19 booster, as well.