Hygienic Lab validates new rapid influenza test - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Hygienic Lab validates new rapid influenza test

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -- The University Hygienic Laboratory was one of six laboratories to participate in the validation of the new test to detect the influenza virus. 

The new test cuts analysis time from days to hours and can detect commonly circulating human influenza viruses as well as the bird flu. 

"Time is a critical factor in virus detection," said UHL Director Christopher Atchison. "If Iowa were to face pandemic of influenza, it would be crucial for us to rapidly test for the virus in order to stop its spread. This new test cuts the time for analysis from several days to just four hours."

The lab has been working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the past two years on the fast results method.

The new test is a molecular method called the Human Influenza Virus Real-Time RT-PCR Detection and Characterization Panel.

Other public health laboratories that conducted clinical trials of the new PCR test include the CDC and state laboratories in California, Massachusetts, Washington and Wisconsin.

Online Producer: Jessica Mortvedt

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