October 17, 2001
Free Flu Tests for the Public in Bioterrorism Planning
- Quidel Corporation, a leading provider of rapid point-of-care (POC)
diagnostic tests, today announced that -- in the wake of the recent
bioterrorism fears -- the company is offering free QuickVue(R) Influenza
tests to public health organizations nationwide to help distinguish the
symptoms of flu from those of other illnesses, including anthrax.
Respiratory anthrax has symptoms that can mimic those of flu.
"Acute pulmonary anthrax and influenza present with nearly the same picture.
With an individual having a positive Quidel QuickVue Influenza test coupled
with the absence of community anthrax exposure or activity, the probability
of pulmonary anthrax is extremely low," said D.J. Ferner, M.D., FACEP, St.
Vincent/Mercy Medical Center, Toledo, Ohio.
"By making a quick and accurate diagnosis of the flu, anxiety and undue
concern over anthrax can be quickly alleviated. The QuickVue Influenza test
gives an accurate diagnosis of acute influenza versus other flu-like
illnesses," said D. Bruce Irwin, M.D., President, American Family Care
Throughout the upcoming flu season Quidel Corporation will donate 50 rapid
flu tests to any licensed state or federal public health organization which
is experiencing a regional influenza outbreak as defined by the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) influenza surveillance network.
Public health organizations are asked to monitor influenza activity at CDC's
influenza surveillance site http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/flu/weekly.htm.
To request free flu tests, public health organizations are asked to contact
Quidel by either calling 858-552-7949, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every year, more than 90 million people in the United States have flu-like
symptoms, but many do not have influenza.
"The widespread use of the QuickVue Influenza test will aid physicians to
rule out influenza and alleviate public fear during flu season," said S.
Wayne Kay, Quidel's President and Chief Executive Officer.
"The mechanics of the QuickVue test can be taught in minutes to basic
healthcare workers and can be administered anywhere without any special
equipment," added D.J. Ferner, M.D.
The QuickVue Influenza test is a simple, three-step, one-reagent, test that
provides results in ten minutes or less. The test is CLIA-waived, allowing
the patient to be tested and treated in one office visit.