FDA authorizes first combo flu/coronavirus test

Posted at 9:43 PM, Dec 04, 2020

For the first time, the FDA has given authorization for a test that will detect for both coronavirus and influenza infections.

The test by Quest Diagnostics can be performed at home under doctor’s approval. Patients can collect a sample at home and ship it to a Quest Diagnostics laboratory for analysis, the FDA says.

“Today’s authorization for a COVID-19 plus flu test using samples collected at home is a significant step toward FDA’s nationwide response to COVID-19. With the authorization of this test, the FDA is helping to address the ongoing fight against COVID-19 while in the middle of the flu season, which is important for many, including the most vulnerable of Americans. This is another example of the FDA working with test developers to bring important diagnostics to Americans,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn.

“With just one swab or sample, combination tests that are authorized for use with home-collected samples can be used to get answers to Americans faster, in the comfort and relative safety of their home, which allows patients to continue to quarantine while awaiting results. This efficiency can go a long way to providing timely information for those sick with an unknown respiratory ailment,” Hahn added.

The coronavirus and flu can offer similar symptoms, such as cough, fever and difficulty breathing.