AS WE GET READY FOR WHAT IS FEARED TO BE AN EVEN WORST FLU SEASON, HERE ARE SOME FACTS WE MAY NEED TO KNOW!!!
ATLANTA (UPI) -- A positive rapid test for influenza is helpful, but a negative result does not rule out pandemic influenza A H1N1 infection, U.S. health officials said.
The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention's Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report said Thursday two school outbreaks of pandemic influenza last May diagnosed at Greenwich Hospital in Connecticut afforded an opportunity to examine the performance of a rapid diagnostic test in detecting the pandemic virus formally called swine flu.
Dr. James R. Sabetta of the Greenwich Department of Health and the Connecticut Department of Public Health compared the results from rapid tests with the reverse transcriptase -- polymerase chain reaction assay.
A low sensitivity of 47 percent was found for the rapid test. The performance could not be explained by the clinical features of the patients or by the timing of the specimen collection, the report said.
The results affirm recent CDC recommendations not to use negative rapid test results for the management of patients with possible pandemic influenza A H1N1 infection, health officials said.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International