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October 17, 2001

Free Flu Tests for the Public in Bioterrorism Planning


 (SafetyAlerts) -  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 Medical Centers.

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 To request free flu tests, public health organizations are asked to contact Quidel by either calling 858-552-7949, or e-mail

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.

Source: PRNewswire.

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