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New Mexico works to get ahead of a flu and COVID “twindemic”

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    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KOAT) — Positive cases of coronavirus continue to grow in New Mexico, as we get closer to flu season.

Health experts are now concerned over what some are calling a “twindemic.”

Leaders in New Mexico are working to get ahead of the curve to prevent getting caught between the two viruses.

The Department of Health is working with TriCore and area hospitals to secure a test that would test for COVID and influenza at the same time.

“We’re getting more testing capacity,” Dr. Jon Femling of UMM Hospital tells KOAT. “We’re getting more types of tests that can test rapidly for the flu and for COVID at the same time.”

He says his hospital has the devices to run the test; they just need the supplies.

A spokesperson with the New Mexico Department of Health tells KOAT it is working with TriCore to assure their dual tests are being reported efficiently, and that the NMDOH Scientific Laboratory Division is validating a version of the dual test as well.

The spokesperson also said there will be more tests in the future that will be able to identify several other respiratory pathogens, not just influenza and SARS-CoV-2.

“I think the combo test will help make sure we treat our patients as well as possible,” Dr. Femling says. “It’s also going to help make sure we stop as much disease spread as we can.”

Femling also recommends getting your flu shot.

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