Differentiate SARS-CoV-2, FLU A, FLU B and RSV

Angie SzumlinskiFeatured

Abbott Laboratories announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the company’s Alinity™ m Resp-4-Plex molecular assay to detect and differentiate SARS-CoV-2, influenza A, influenza B and Respiratory Syncytial virus (RSV) in one test. This is an important tool because these viruses have similar symptoms but require different treatment approaches. This test …

Flu Season Where Are You?

Angie SzumlinskiHealth

This winter has, so far, been the quietest flu season in recent memory and the perks are clear. Fewer flu cases mean fewer deaths, fewer occupied hospital beds, and fewer overtaxed health-care workers, caregivers, and laboratory employees, a welcome respite for a country still in the coronavirus’ grip. Without flu cases to study, researchers have been starved of data crucial …

Influenza Cases Down!

Angie SzumlinskiStudies

Flu activity is unusually low at this time but may increase in the coming month per the CDC’s FluView. Throughout the fall, public health officials urged Americans to get a flu vaccine to avoid a “twindemic” that could occur if both the flu and COVID-19 overwhelmed hospitals. Pharmacies and health care organizations ordered more flu vaccines this year to prepare …

Nurse making vaccine injection to elderly patient

Adjuvanted Influenza Vaccine

Angie SzumlinskiHealth, Studies

Influenza outbreaks in nursing homes pose a threat to frail residents and occur even in vaccinated populations. A pragmatic cluster-randomized trial was performed comparing adjuvanted trivalent influenza vaccine (aTIV) versus trivalent influenza vaccine (TIV). Of 823 randomized nursing homes, 777 reported information on influenza outbreaks. The treatment group had similar characteristics at baseline except for race/ethnicity; homes assigned to TIV …

Influenza vaccine, syringe, and vials.

Preparing for the 2020-2021 Influenza Season

Angie SzumlinskiNews

As health care systems across the U.S. are experiencing or preparing for surges in individuals with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) this fall and winter, the potential for cocirculation of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and influenza viruses poses added challenges for clinicians and public health. Recent reports suggest that influenza activity can be influenced substantially by non-pharmaceutical measures …

CDC Diagnostic Multiplex Assay for Flu and COVID-19

Angie SzumlinskiAnnouncements, Health

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 …

Flu Season Caution Signs

Positive for Both – COVID and Flu!

Angie SzumlinskiHealth

Following national public health warnings about a possible “twindemic,” reports are surfacing of patients testing positive for both coronavirus and influenza. “With the likelihood of both COVID-19 and seasonal flu activity this winter, contracting either disease may weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to the other diseases,” said Solano County Health Officer Dr. Bela T. Matyas. “Getting …

Process Failures – Increased Risk of Infection

Angie SzumlinskiStudies

In the United States, an estimated 21 million patients seek medical treatment for respiratory infections each year. Severe respiratory infections such as croup, bronchiolitis, and pneumonia are caused by bacterial and viral agents spread through respiratory droplets. Most viral pneumonias in the United States are caused by influenza and hospital associated infectious agents through respiratory droplets. In order to determine …

COVID Isolation Units and “Flu”

Angie SzumlinskiHealth, Studies

In a recent article published in Skilled Nursing News, they discussed how the COVID-19 isolation units were used to combat the virus in skilled nursing facilities and how they may now be helpful in preventing the spread of influenza. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) took steps in March to make it easier to transfer residents within facilities …