Navigating Winter Wellness: A Guide to Free Flu and COVID-19 Testing and Treatment

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By Search Alike Team

Heading into the colder months, it is anticipated by medical professionals that there will be a rise in instances of influenza and COVID-19. Fortunately, if you fall ill, you can find free tests and treatment for both with an online search right now.

Similarities and Differences Between the Flu and Covid-19

Both the flu and COVID-19 are contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, tends to have more severe symptoms and a higher rate of mortality compared to the flu.

Common symptoms like fever, cough, and fatigue are seen in both, but COVID-19 can also cause a loss of taste or smell.1 It’s important to test if you exhibit any symptoms, as treatments and protocol vary based on the illness.

Where To Find Free Tests

Free testing for both the flu and COVID-19 is widely available. For COVID-19, many local health departments, pharmacies, and community centers offer free testing. Flu tests are typically available at clinics and hospitals. Additionally, some employers and schools provide free tests.

A new at-home test-and-treat program, led by NIH and eMed, is also providing complimentary tests for both flu and COVID-19. In case of a positive result, the program includes free telehealth consultations and delivery of antiviral treatments directly to your doorstep. Currently, there are restrictions on eligibility, but if you are at least 18 years of age and face financial barriers, including being without health insurance and being enrolled in government programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Veterans Affairs, you may qualify.2 Search online to apply today!

Effective Treatments For the Flu

Flu treatment primarily involves rest, hydration, and over-the-counter medications to alleviate symptoms. FDA-approved antiviral drugs like Oseltamivir (Tamiflu), Zanamivir (Relenza), Peramivir (Rapivab), or Baloxavir marboxil (Xofluza) can be prescribed and are most effective when taken within 48 hours of symptom onset.3 Remember, flu vaccines are the best preventive measure and are often available at no cost through insurance or local health programs.

Treatments for COVID-19

COVID-19 treatments have evolved significantly. Antiviral medications, such as Paxlovid and Remdesivir, are available for high-risk patients to take orally. Monoclonal antibody treatments can also be effective in early stages of the virus. Vaccination remains the most effective strategy for prevention and is available for free globally.

Search Today To Be Prepared

Actively seeking out free testing and treatment options for the flu and COVID-19 is vital. Early detection and treatment can significantly reduce the severity of these illnesses and get you on the road to recovery. Use online resources, contact your local health department, and consult with healthcare providers to stay informed about the available options in your area. By being proactive, you can protect yourself and contribute to the overall health of your community.

Search Alike Team

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