Corona numbers are rising, and the next challenge is already in sight: Flu season is beginning. The symptoms can be very similar, but a test can differentiate between influenza and Covid-19. A new combined rapid test can detect coronavirus and influenza viruses simultaneously: The NADAL® COVID-19 Ag+Influenza A/B Test from German medical technology company nal von minden delivers a reliable result in just 15 minutes.
Symptoms like fever, cough, sore throat and fatigue can occur with both influenza and Covid-19 infections. Suspected coronavirus cases could therefore actually be influenza cases – or vice versa.
"Differentiating between coronavirus and influenza is enormously important in order to avoid further spread of the coronavirus and to protect ourselves and others faster and better", says Thomas Zander, managing director of nal von minden GmbH, based in Moers, Germany. "The new combined rapid test for Covid-19 and influenza can help contain the spread of the virus."
The NADAL® COVID-19 antigen/influenza combined test can be carried out on site. A laboratory is not necessary. For the test, a swab from the oral cavity or nasopharynx is collected by medical personnel. The result is available within 15 minutes. Zander: "It is much more pleasant for affected individuals to have just one sample collected, rather than two, to check for two possible infections." The new combined test also takes the pressure off laboratories, which cannot process unlimited numbers of time-consuming tests.
Possible areas of application for the new combined test are primarily nursing and care homes, as older people are particularly at risk. The combined test is also useful in hospitals, for example in case of rapid emergency admission of patients. It could also be used within companies to test employees with unclear cold symptoms. "However, within a company, the test must be carried out by a doctor", adds Zander.
The new combined antigen test directly detects specific viral components: the nucleoprotein antigens. These proteins encapsulate the genetic material, consisting of ribonucleic acid (RNA), of the Covid-19 virus as well as influenza virus type A and type B. (Type A and B are the two most common influenza viruses.) For comparison: The PCR tests (PCR = polymerase chain reaction) used in laboratories detect viral RNA.
nal von minden GmbH has already produced millions of combined antigen tests, which are available immediately. The test is already approved throughout Europe.