FDA approves tests to screen for COVID-19, flu at same time

The FDA has granted emergency use approval to three diagnostic tests that can simultaneously test patients for COVID-19 and the flu. 

The latest combination test to receive emergency approval was developed by the CDC. The FDA has also granted emergency approval to combination tests from BioFire Diagnostics and Qiagen

The FDA said the tests will allow healthcare professionals to determine if respiratory symptoms are caused by the seasonal flu or COVID-19 using a single sample, which will reduce the strain on testing supplies and diagnostic labs' capacity. 

With both the flu and COVID-19 expected to spread in the fall, physicians will need to know which one patients have to be able to control the spread of the coronavirus. 

"If there is COVID-19 and flu activity at the same time, this could place a tremendous burden on the healthcare system related to bed occupancy, laboratory testing needs, personal protective equipment and healthcare worker safety," CDC Director Robert Redfield told a House committee late last month, according to MedTech Dive.


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