CDC creates swab to test COVID and the flu, Grand Strand hospitals wait for resource


MURRELLS INLET, SC (WBTW) – In July the Center for Disease Control and Prevention create a combination swap that tests for the flu and coronavirus.

Tidelands Health officials say flu season has not yet hit the Grand Strand, but this year it will meet the pandemic.

“The important thing right now is we do not have influenza in the community very much,” said Dr. William Epperson.

Epperson expects that to change within the next eight to ten weeks.

“As we get into the winter months, as we start coming inside more and sharing the same air then influenza comes up every year,” said Epperson.

The new combination swap can detect influenza A and B, as well as COVID-19.

The one-stop-shop relieves patients and doctors from performing multiple tests.

“This is very important for work flows and patients will appreciate the convenience,” said Epperson.

Combination testing hasn’t been released to the masses, but doctors say the demand will soon be here.

“They will be present in emergency rooms and certain centers, but not just the regular doctor’s offices quite as much to start with,” said Epperson.

While hospitals wait for the new resource, Epperson says all three viruses need to be taken seriously.

“This testing is so important in our hands as physicians and caregivers to understand the patients who have needs and it’s every citizens responsibility to wear a mask, social distancing, and make good choices,” said Epperson.

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