Why Is Everyone Sick Right Now? // Rabbi Dr. Aaron Glatt discusses the recent outbreak of flu in Jewish communities with Rechy Frankfurter

Parenting With Slovie Jungreis Wolff

he flu seems to be rampant in chareidi communities around the world right now, but there are people claiming that it’s a strange virus and no one knows what it is. Are we really talking about the flu?

We are definitely seeing the flu. RSV [a respiratory virus] and COVID are also still around, and the omicron variant can manifest itself as a flu-like syndrome. We saw almost no flu last year, but it is present now in higher rates than it has been in previous years. 

Is it possible that a positive flu test can be inaccurate and it’s really the omicron variant?

If someone is testing positive for flu, then that’s what it is. However, although it is rare, it’s possible for someone to have both at the same time. 

Do you suggest that people test for both COVID and the flu at the same time?

The best tests do test for both illnesses simultaneously. There are three-in-one and four-in-one tests that can test for COVID, influenza A, influenza B and RSV. The better tests will usually identify one as being positive and the others as negative. On rare occasions, two of them will be positive, and of course it’s possible that none of them will be positive. 

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