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Not COVID, but ‘quite debilitating’: The viruses running rampant in Victoria

Ross and Russel
Article image for Not COVID, but ‘quite debilitating’: The viruses running rampant in Victoria

Victoria has gone three weeks without a locally-acquired COVID-19 case, but testing rates have surged to more than 21,000 for the past two days.

Altona GP and former president of the Australian Medical Association, Dr Mukesh Haikerwal, says two other viruses are driving up COVID-19 testing rates.

“We’re getting a lot of a bug called RSV — respiratory syncytial virus — especially in kids, and it makes them quite sick,” he told Ross Stevenson.

“And there’s rhinovirus, which is like the common cold … but it can be quite debilitating.”

Dr Haikerwal says the testing rate is “really good”, and helps provide an indication of how widely other viruses are spreading.

He says Victorians who aren’t due to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the next few weeks should get the flu vaccine as soon as possible.

“Get your vaccine now at the chemist … because there’s a two week gap between when you get your COVID vaccine and the flu vaccine,” he said.

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Ross and Russel
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