The CDC has developed two laboratory tests that identify SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The newer of these tests also test for influenza A and B viruses. Testing for all three viruses at the same time will provide public health officials with the information they need to help reduce the spread of these viruses in the community while conserving resources that are in short supply. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Influenza SARS-CoV-2 Multiplex Assay test. This test:
- Serves as a single test to diagnose infection caused by one of three viruses: SARS-CoV-2, Influenza A and Influenza B.
- Allows laboratories to process more tests in a given period.
- Gives public health officials information they need in their efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 and flu.
- Allows for ongoing flu surveillance while also testing for SARS-CoV-2.
- Conserves important testing materials that are in short supply.
The Flu SC2 test kit was evaluated in CDC laboratories and three other public health laboratories to ensure that the test works as intended. The Flu SC2 Multiplex Assay was designed using data about SARS-CoV-2 genomes that were not available when the earlier test was designed which is likely to improve performance of the test.
CDC tests are provided to U.S. state and local public health laboratories and Department of Defense laboratories that were either previously qualified for being able to perform a similar type of test used to detect influenza or have been recently approved by their state public health laboratory of SARS-CoV-2 testing.
Remember, the CDC doesn’t sleep, they are a 24/7 operation just like us! Stay informed, read everything that is posted, know what is available, and how to obtain it, and of course, stay well, stay safe, and stay tuned!