Early flu diagnosis – benefits to infection control

7 June 2022

With the worst flu outbreaks in years and flu numbers exceeding that of the last two years combined, we are experiencing the verge of another public health crisis. Influenza is a virus that brings with it symptoms similar in severity to that of Covid-19, but with increased delusory and mental effects, side effects to the raging fever that influenza will usually give you.

Infection prevention methods that have been taken on by the public after extensive pandemic measures during the Covid-19 pandemic. This is what we have learnt from the pandemic, thankfully being put into practice in the main by the public. Part of this new knowledge is being able to diagnose and treat early to prevent further consequences.

With the flu outbreaks of 2022, many are confused about their symptoms, testing negative for Covid-19 while displaying all the right symptoms for it. Here is where ABC antigen kits come in.

Rapid antigen tests for influenza A and B are an existing development which was accelerated by the pandemic, essentially a RAT Kit for Covid and the two main variants of influenza.

The benefits these bring include

  • Prevention of exposure leading to increased productivity
  • Early treatment
  • Widespread infection control capability
  • Less strain on healthcare systems
  • Reduction in pressure on pathology groups

It is highly beneficial to screen for influenza. The flu is a deadly disease that takes over 660,000 lives per year. Identifying infection early, opens up treatment options such as antiviral drugs, monoclonal antibodies and other medication that reduces the severity of the virus.

ABC testing, the tool that can execute this, is short for Rapid Influenza A, Influenza B and SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) Antigen Testing. Most people are familiar with the rapid antigen testing method to detect Covid-19. The benefit of ABC is that all 3 diseases can be picked up at once.