Seasonal spikes in illnesses have been observed for centuries, with influenza spiking in winter being a commonly observed occurrence. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, influenza viruses see a spike in detection from December to March. In a 36-year-period, the CDC observed that flu activity most often peaked in February followed by December.
Our team at Aculabs, unsurprisingly, has witnessed an incredible surge in the demand for Rapid Flu Testing every winter. In response to such high demands, and to better prep facilities for the flu season, we would like to remind those ordering that the Rapid Flu Testing kit used requires specific swabs.
The use of the BactiSwab® will no longer be accepted for Rapid Flu Testing, as it does not comply with the manufacturer’s guidelines. Aculabs’ Rapid Flu Test requires a Universal Viral Transport Swab Kit (red top, as displayed) to be used, instead of the BactiSwab®.
Another acceptable swab is the UTM™-RT Copan Swab, which has the purple top.
As well, for those interested, another option would be to perform the flu testing with the OSOM® Influenza A&B Test, a CLIA-waived testing platform. Kits cost $275 and Aculabs will arrange the delivery for you.
Due to geriatric populations often dealing with less efficient immune systems, viruses like influenza are diagnosed more often in older populations than others. As well, influenza can lead to health complications or even death more often in older populations. Facilities are encouraged to try and catch signs of the flu early on to better manage diagnosis and recovery.