Get tested for COVID-19, the flu, and RSV, ARUP announces combo testing

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FILE – In this Wednesday, March 11, 2020 file photo, a technician prepares COVID-19 coronavirus patient samples for testing at a laboratory in New York’s Long Island. Wide scale testing is a critical part of tracking and containing infectious diseases. But the U.S. effort has been plagued by a series of missteps, including accuracy problems with the test kits the CDC sent to other labs and bureaucratic hurdles that slowed the entrance of large, private sector labs. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – ARUP Laboratories announced a new combined test available nationally to detect COVID-19, influenza, and RSV in individuals with respiratory symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

“We are proud to offer this test, which is one of the first available to test for all four viruses,” said Adam Barker, Ph.D., director of ARUP’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Laboratory. “This single test is a simple, accurate way to determine which virus is the cause of illness as the flu and RSV seasons get underway amid the COVID-19 pandemic.”

A press release sent to ABC4 News states: “The test is the first offered in the United States to be developed using Thermo Fisher Scientific’s TaqMan SARS-CoV-2, Flu A/B, RSV multiplex primer, and probes and run on the QuantStudio Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) platform.”

(AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)

How it works according to ARUP, “The new combo tests detects RNA from SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19 along with the influenza A and B viruses and RSV. A qualitative test also differentiates between the viruses, although it does not differentiate between influenza A and B.”

The test can be performed using deep nasal swabs, or on specimens collected from the back of the throat and the front of both nostrils.

The new test adds to a group of tests, including a molecular diagnostic test for COVID-19 that can be performed on multiple specimen types, including saliva.

The company also has tests that can detect previous exposure to the virus.

“The challenge clinicians face as we enter flu season is unparalleled even if flu and RSV activity remains low,” said ARUP CEO Sherrie L. Perkins, MD, Ph.D. “We’re pleased that this combination test will help them provide the best patient care possible as the pandemic persists.”

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