Developers roll out new COVID-19 test that also detects influenza and RSV


SALT LAKE CITY – A new type of COVID-19 examination that can also detect influenza and RSV, reducing the burden on some congested hospitals.

Researchers at ARUP Laboratories are testing a new type of nasal swap that can detect three different respiratory illnesses with one examination.

With hospitals, doctors and nurses already under extreme stress due to COVID-19, health officials across Utah are urging everyone to take their flu shot this year. Analysts at ARUP Laboratories say a large flood of influenza patients could cripple an already struggling hospital system.

Doctor Adam Barker, ARUP COVID-19 Rapid Response Lab Director, says that we have not seen many confirmed cases of influenza so far, as most people are taking precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Also work for respiratory problems. However, it will soon be known how bad the flu season will be.

“We’re just starting in that season. The flu season usually starts in November, actually ramps up in December and January and in February it peaks,” Barker says.

Developers of ARUP and Thermo Fisher Scientific are giving hospitals and clinics a new type of examination that can detect COVID-19, influenza A / B and RSV, which is especially dangerous in young children and older adults. Barker states that not every cough is related to coronaviruses, and treatments can vary wildly between these three diseases.

“All three of those diseases are very similar when a patient contracts them,” says Barker.

Patients will have to talk with their doctors to request this specific test, but, Barker says, will ensure that patients do not have to return for additional testing if they suffer from a disease.

“You can do one test at a time and get all the information at once instead of having people return to clinics and hospitals,” he says.

One of the test kits administered by health care workers. (Photo: Courtesy: Lisa Caricaburu, ARUP)

Barker believes that some patients may overlook the flu and RSV as COVID-19 is attracting attention across the country.

He says, “Usually, during flu season we test the flu first, then if it’s not the flu, then we look for other respiratory viruses. COVID moved us, so this year we Wanted to make sure we were covering. Kovid. “

This special examination is administered in one of two ways. Health care workers may use either a deep nasal inflammation, or they may receive samples from the back of the throat and the anterior part of the nasal cavity. Barker states that saliva tests are not effective in detecting influenza.

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