The test has been developed in Korea by one of the world’s leading manufacturers of rapid virus diagnostic testing kits. Studies carried out by the Korean Centre for Disease Control and Protection have confirmed that the test is 100% specific in identifying the Influenza A (H1N1) subtype, known as “Swine Flu”
A swab sample taken from the patient’s nose is placed into a test tube containing an extraction solution. The swab is removed and replaced by a test strip. After 10-15 minutes the result is seen clearly by a series of coloured lines differentiating between a negative result, or a positive result for Influenza A, Influenza B (Seasonal Flu) or Influenza A (H1N1) – Swine Flu. The test can also be easily carried out at home, workplace, in a clinic, pharmacy, doctor’s surgery or Primary Care Centre and does not require skilled laboratory staff.
The ability to quickly and accurately differentiate between a minor respiratory viral infection - such as the common cold - seasonal flu and swine flu ensures that NHS resources are used only for those at maximum risk. Importantly, it also reduces anxiety for those people with symptoms who test negative, especially those who are particularly vulnerable, such as children, pregnant women and those with underlying medical conditions.
Bill Cunningham, Managing Director of CDx Ltd said “This test is a clear example of how rapid diagnostics can improve healthcare for both individuals and the wider population by providing a cost-effective solution to the NHS. In the last few days there have been reports of hospital beds being unnecessarily taken up with influenza suspects, and associated cancellation of elective surgery schedules. A simple, 10 minute test on arrival at A & E will effectively allow ill patients to be treated appropriately and NHS hospitals to avoid unnecessary disruption”.