With the common symptoms of flu, COVID-19 and Lyme disease all converging to form a frightening respiratory season, health care professionals nationwide will converge themselves to join an important webinar on Dec. 3 focused on how to correctly diagnose and treat these look-alike conditions. The webinar is being sponsored by Quidel, the California-based diagnostic health care manufacturer known for successfully developing rapid diagnostic health solutions.
As reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the trio of Lyme disease, flu and COVID-19 share the common symptoms of fever/chills, fatigue, muscle aches and headaches. That makes it both challenging and critical for health care professionals to properly distinguish one from the other so that they can correctly treat their patients for the corresponding ailment.
“In particular, physicians need to have their radar up for Lyme disease, which is known as ‘The Great Imitator’ because its symptoms often mimic those of flu and, most recently, COVID-19 infections,” said Roxanne Carfora, D.O., who will be conducting the webinar. “Early diagnosis of Lyme disease is critical because if not caught early or if misdiagnosed, Lyme disease can have long-term debilitating consequences. With Lyme disease afflicting as many as 400,000 Americans each year, we view this as an epidemic within the pandemic.”
A recovering Lyme disease patient herself, Dr. Carfora is board certified in anti-aging and functional medicine and has been practicing family medicine on Long Island for more than 25 years. She is the founder of New York-based Ageless MD, which combines family medicine, anti-aging medicine and aesthetics in one patient-friendly environment. Dr. Carfora is a graduate of New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, host of the radio program “Getting You Healthy, Naturally” and co-author of “Ageless Adventures,” which provides tips on how to live a more active, healthy lifestyle.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is spread when people are bitten by an infected deer tick. It can strike anyone at any age and can lead to a number of serious, life-threatening problems if not caught early. Leading the way in Lyme disease testing is Quidel’s innovative Sofia® 2 Lyme FIA test. This test provides a patient as well as his or her physician with indicative results within minutes as opposed to days, which has historically been the norm. Performed in the privacy of a doctor’s office or local clinic, it is also the only test that can get results from a simple finger prick of blood. With appropriate antibiotic treatment, most people with Lyme disease recover completely; but the key is catching it early, and that means not hesitating to get tested.
Among those expected to attend the free Dec. 3 webinar are physicians; allied health professionals; health researchers; and representatives of physician offices, laboratories, urgent care centers and others interested in the subject. The webinar, titled, “Doctor, I’m exhausted and have a fever. Do I have COVID? Could it be the flu or even Lyme disease?” will take place from noon-1 p.m. (EDT). To register, visit quidel.com/webinars.