Cough, runny nose, sore throat – many people in Germany are currently catching a cold. It is often unclear which pathogen is behind it. A new combination test should now remedy the situation. It shows if you have Covid-19, flu or RSV. Here’s the background.

The statistician Christian Hesse speaks of a “triple wave”. Because influenza, corona and RSV in particular are currently driving up the number of cases of illness in Germany. Practices and clinics are reaching their limits. Can a new rapid test bring relief? What the test can do, what doctors say – and why you don’t have to panic if you get a positive result.

Several so-called combination tests are now available online, for example from Solmira, fluorecare or CorDx. They work like common corona quick tests: nose swab with a stick, stir into test liquid and put on the test kit. After 15 minutes the result should be visible.

The tests are priced between 2.91 and 4.95 euros per piece.

How reliable are the tests? In principle, multiple tests are customary in the industry and reliable. Important: They must be CE-certified in order to meet EU-wide requirements. This can be seen from the CE marking. Each test also states how high its sensitivity and specificity are.

The tests mentioned indicate 100 percent specificity, and all tests are also 90 percent or higher in terms of sensitivity. “I think the combined test makes sense, because you can’t always clearly distinguish which virus is involved in an infection based on clinical symptoms,” says a doctor when asked by FOCUS online. “And the test has both high sensitivity and specificity.”

Many are nervous because of the tense situation in the clinics. A cold with cough and runny nose, but also a fever is nothing unusual at first. If the course is mild, the condition will improve on its own, even without medication. If symptoms occur, certain medications can help. If the condition worsens or the symptoms persist, a doctor should be consulted.

Basically, virologists recommend: Stay at home if you have cold symptoms in order to prevent further infections. In the case of Corona, there is also an obligation to isolate in most federal states. In addition, the rapid test is not official proof. A test must be carried out in the laboratory for a guarantee.

The following applies to RSV: An infection cannot be prevented in the long term. “Every child has to deal with it sooner or later,” explains pediatric lung specialist Petra Kaiser-Labusch. In older children, RSV usually causes only mild illness. You have to be more careful with infants and small children up to about three years of age, according to Kaiser-Labusch. Here are the symptoms and warning signs of RSV.

The following still applies to Covid-19: Every infection should be prevented, also because it increases the risk of long-Covid. Vaccination protects against severe courses. The Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) recommends the corona (booster) vaccination for all people over the age of twelve and risk groups.

Influenza can cause complications, especially in the elderly, the chronically ill and pregnant women. The Stiko therefore recommends vaccination for people over the age of 60 and risk groups.

At you can order medicines for your medicine cabinet. These will be delivered to you within a few hours by courier service. Note: The media company Hubert Burda Media, which also owns FOCUS online, is a co-shareholder of