09 June 2022

Free 3 in 1 COVID, Flu & RSV Self-Testing In CT & JHB

Submitted by Aimee Zuccarini

Test yourself for 3 infectious diseases with 1 swab for free in the comfort of your own home.

Since Jan 2022 Epicentre has provided free COVID, Flu & RSV PCR tests to individuals and businesses within 30kms of Randburg (JHB) and Rondebosch (Cape Town).

How Can I Get Free Testing?

The Epicentre delivery team can be booked to come to your home to give you the tools to test yourself.

By filling out a simple form and using a swab by following some easy instructions, you can find out if your symptoms are caused by the flu, RSV (the common cold), or by COVID. 

These tests fully paid for and provided by the highly respected South African government organization, the National Institute of Communicable Diseases, as part of their long-running Viral Watch program

Introducing Self Testing To South Africa

If you, a friend, family member, a colleague or employee are feeling sick, you should join the Cough Check Study and get a free test because it supports South African scientists and doctors by making COVID testing easier and safer. 

What is Cough Check?

Cough Check is a Self-swabbing Pilot Study, which aims to come to patient’s homes and give them the chance to test themselves.

Take charge of your COVID-19 test. Epicentre believes you should have control of your health. When you feel sick, your body is sensitive. With self-swabbing, you can control how fast or slow your swab is inserted during your COVID-19. This complete control ensures a less painful and invasive test and has evidence of equal effectiveness of tests by trained professionals.

Epicentre Health Research is in partnership with The Centre for Respiratory Diseases and Meningitis (CRDM) as part of The Viral Watch (VW) programme. This study aims to test for both the influenza virusesHuman respiratory syncytial virus and SARS-Cov-2 (COVID-19).

What Is The Cough Check Test Procedure?

To book a Cough Check test with Epicentre, you will need to either book a test online or message our WhatsApp number at 072 843 7564

  • ✔ The Cough Check team will ask you some questions they read on their tablet. These questions are multiple choice and very easy.
  • ✔ The Cough Check team will ask you to test yourself and give you instructions on how to do it
    • This involves taking a long and thin cotton Q-tip known as a swab and sticking just inside your nose and slowly turning it, taking it out and placing it in a protective plastic container
  • ✔ The Cough Check team will then send your ‘swab’ to our lab at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases to test for COVID-19, the common cold and the flu.

Who should sign up for Cough Check?

The Cough Check team can visit your home if:

  • ✔ You are experience any of these symptoms:
    • shortness of breath, cough, sore throat, loss of taste or small, fatigue, myalgia or chest pain
  • ✔ You contact the Epicentre Team on WhatsApp at 072 843 7564 and ask to take part
  • ✔ You can organize a time to meet at your home with our team
  • ✔ You live within 30 km of one of our Drive-Through branches in Randburg or Rondebosch

How is Cough Check anonymous?

  • ✔ All participants’ details are kept private so that participants cannot be identified.
  • ✔ To do this, we link participants to a barcode, not their name.
  • ✔ Cough Check has gone through a very strict ‘ethical review’ with several independent ethical comities for every part of the study.
    • We have to protect every participant and follow a very strict plan about what happens to each person’s information (in terms of where it goes & who sees it). Which are explained in detail to every person who participates.
  • ✔ & each team member, in the Cough Check study, is required to sign a confidentiality agreement when they begin working on the project.
    • So they may not discuss this information or disclose it to any outside parties.

What just want to get tested for free but don’t want to be part of a study?

  • ❌ Unfortunately, it is a requirement of our free testing that you take part in our study
  • ✔ Please check out our Walk-In Lab for non-study related tests

Will I find out my results of my test?

✔ Yes, we will send you your results certificate.

What Is Cough Check Hoping To Achieve?

COVID-19 is a new disease that has affected the lives of all South Africans. There is still a lot to learn about COVID-19 and how it has affected communities. 

Our Primary Aims Are To:

  1. Assess if testing yourself is effective for picking up these viruses.
  2. Describe the symptoms of patients with undiagnosed acute respiratory tract illness and compare them to those that are diagnosed.
  3. Improve the detection of these viruses.
  4. This information is important to guide in planning and decision-making for preventing future waves of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa, as well as to pick up what the new strains of flu are for the next flu season.

Our Secondary Aims Are To:

  1. Estimate the VE of the influenza vaccine against laboratory-confirmed influenza illness in 2021 if the detection rate of influenza and sample size allows for the analysis.
  2. Estimate the VE of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) vaccine against laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 illness in 2021 if the detection rate of SARS-CoV-2 and sample size allow for the analysis
  3. Document logistic constraints, costs and acceptability of home self-swabbing for identification of influenza, SARS-CoV-2 and RSV as a supplement to existing VE platforms.
  4. Assess the logistics of samples refrigeration, timely processing for culture and isolate identification using self-swabbing.
  5. Compare timing and extent of influenza, SARS-CoV-2 and RSV virus circulation as detected in facility-based surveillance to that documented by home-based self-swabbing.
  6. Describe the timing between illness onset, collection kit arrival to households, collection and delivery to the laboratory for self-swabbing.
Aimee Zuccarini - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - 0870725300
Published in Health and Medicine

Epicentre Health Research

A Bit About Us Epicentre is a company founded in 2001 on a vision. Making an impact We are an independent organization that is committed to creating a positive impact on the health and wellness in South Africa. We want to close the gap between unscreened, undiagnosed, and uncontrolled HIV & COVID-19 infections as well as other chronic diseases. We’re focusing on research, implementation, evaluation & tools.