A new genetic test can detect the flu virus in 4 hours, compared with 4 days with previous methods. Just approved by the FDA, the Human Influenza Virus Real-Time RT-PCR Detection and Characterization Panel (rRT-PCR Flu Panel) identifies both human influenza viruses and avian influenza A viruses. Able to analyze many samples at once, the new test can also differentiate seasonal and novel flu viruses.
The test isolates and amplifies viral genetic material in secretions taken from a patient's nose or throat. The viral genetic material is tagged with fluorescent molecules to aid detection and analysis. For more information, visit http://www.pandemicflu.gov.