Experts are warning that a severe influenza wave is on the way – especially given that many places have now loosened coronavirus-related rules and regulations. As a result, the risk of transmission is higher and influenza can easily be passed on. Since symptoms of the flu and coronavirus can be quite similar, a definitive diagnosis is important. A combi-test can quickly determine whether someone is infected with influenza or coronavirus – or indeed both. With the NADAL COVID-19 antigen/influenza combination test from the Germany-based med-tech company nal von minden, a single sample is all that is required to detect and differentiate between the two illnesses. Results are available in just 15 minutes.
“With symptoms such as a fever, cough and sore throat, many people are unsure and are asking: Do I have the flu or is it coronavirus?” says Thomas Zander, CEO at nal von minden GmbH. A combination test can provide assurance quickly. With the NADAL COVID-19 Antigen/Influenza combination test, results are available after just 15 minutes. “The test shows whether the individual is infected with coronavirus or the flu, as both can cause the same symptoms as a normal cold.”
Thomas Zander is – like many other experts – very much convinced that, as the colder months approach, the number of influenza cases will rise sharply. “As a result of strict coronavirus-related rules and regulations such as wearing masks, social distancing and working from home, there were comparatively few influenza cases last year. As these measures have now eased in many places, we should expect a severe influenza wave.”
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, it has almost been forgotten that the flu is also dangerous. Quite the opposite: “Influenza can lead to complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia, especially in children, the elderly and in patients with chronic respiratory diseases,” says Zander. However, most experience only a mild course of illness spread by respiratory droplets, which are expelled through coughing and sneezing.
The NADAL COVID-19 antigen/influenza combination test can be carried out directly onsite, without the need for a laboratory. To carry out the test, only a swab taken from the nose or throat is necessary. “The test must only be carried out by medical personnel, but the process is very quick and simple”, says Zander. “Like with pregnancy tests, the results are easy to read.”
A quick diagnosis offers many benefits for the patient and society as a whole, explains Zander: “Antiviral influenza medications work best when they are administered shortly after the onset of the illness – that is, within 48 hours. This enables successful antiviral treatment to be carried out, thus preventing a severe course of illness. This improves not only the patient’s health, but also has a better outcome for healthcare costs. “A quick diagnosis also helps to stem the coronavirus pandemic and keep an influenza wave at bay: “Isolating a patient with coronavirus or influenza can happen much more quickly with the help of a rapid test, and so protects others.”
The reliability of the combination rapid tests is 99 percent, explains Thomas Zander. “Of course, the gold standard in the diagnosis of influenza is a laboratory analysis (PCR test), with which the sensitivity and specificity is almost 100 percent. However, the drawback of this laboratory method is that it doesn’t enable an immediate diagnosis, and it requires qualified personnel and costly laboratory equipment.”
The combination rapid test is intended above all for GP practices and hospitals, who would like to test their patients quickly. “In care homes, as well as homes for the elderly, a combination test is a good option. It provides clarity quickly and could prevent the further spread of influenza or coronavirus”, says Thomas Zander.
The NADAL COVID-19 antigen/influenza combination test directly detects specific viral components, known as nucleoprotein antigens. These proteins coat the genetic material -which consists of ribonucleic acid (RNA) - of the Covid-19 viruses as well as influenza viruses type A and type B (the two most common influenza viruses). For comparison: PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests used in the laboratory detect viral RNA.
nal von minden GmbH. nal von minden GmbH from Moers (Germany) has been a specialist in the field of medical diagnostics for 38 years. Their portfolio comprises rapid tests and laboratory tests for reliable diagnoses in the fields of bacteriology, cardiology, gynaecology, infectious diseases, urology and toxicology. nal von minden GmbH has around 230 employees at 9 locations throughout Europe. www.nal-vonminden.com