The OnSite COVID-19 + Influenza A/B Ag Rapid Test is a lateral flow immunoassay for the qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid antigens and the qualitative detection and differentiation of influenza A viral antigens (including H5N1 and H1N1) and influenza B in nasopharyngeal (NP) swabs or nasal swab specimens. The test is designed to be used by healthcare professionals or personnel trained in the rapid test procedure.
- Helps identify SARS-CoV-2, Influenza A and Influenza B infection within the first seven days of symptom onset.
- Difference 3 infections in 1 test.
- Efficiently test for 3 infections with only 1 patient sample.
- Easy to use, requires minimal training, no lab equipment needed.
- All-in-one package for point-of-care use and resource-limited settings.
- Results in 15 minutes.
What is influenza A?
Influenza A is a type of virus that causes influenza (flu), a highly contagious respiratory illness. If you do get it, you should rest at home and avoid infecting others. Vaccination can protect you against influenza A. The other types of influenza viruses are type B and type C. Influenza types A and B are the most common causes of flu in Australia and can cause major outbreaks and serious illnesses. Influenza type C can cause illness in children similar to the common cold. Most people who get the flu are infected with the type A influenza virus. This virus has caused flu pandemics – the worldwide spread of a new disease.
The virus has also caused most epidemics: the widespread occurrence of an infectious disease within a community at a given time. Although coronavirus (COVID-19) is a viral disease that has become a pandemic, the virus that causes COVID-19 is different from the one that causes influenza. Both influenza A and influenza B viruses circulate in the community and are continually changing, with new strains appearing each winter. That is why annual vaccination is recommended.
What are the types of influenza A?
In addition to infecting people, the influenza A virus can infect animals, including birds (causing bird flu) and pigs (causing swine flu, or H1N1). In some cases, these types of influenza can be transmitted to humans.
Avian flu: Avian flu, also known as ‘bird flu, is a subtype of the influenza A (H5N1) virus that primarily affects birds. The virus has caused serious human infections and deaths but has not been found in Australia.
Swine flu: This is a type of influenza A virus found in pigs. In 2009, a strain of the flu virus known as H1N1 caused the respiratory infection in humans that is commonly known as swine flu. It quickly spread throughout the world and became a pandemic. The 1918 flu pandemic was also caused by the influenza A H1N1 virus.
What are the symptoms of influenza A?
If you have influenza A, you will have some or all of these symptoms:
- fever and chills
- headache and muscle aches
- feeling tired and weak
- sneezing and nasal congestion or runny nose
- sore throat and cough
- Children may also have abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.
Influenza A is a bit like a very bad cold, but a cold usually does not cause aches and pains or a high fever. If your symptoms get worse instead of better, it’s best to see a doctor. You should also get help right away if you have chest pain, are short of breath, are dizzy or confused, or throw up a lot.
How is influenza A treated?
If you have the flu, you are likely to get better in about a week if:
- Resting on the bed
- take mild pain relievers to reduce pain
- Drink a lot of liquids
- eat light foods when hungry
In some people, the flu can be severe, causing serious complications, such as pneumonia. This is likely to primarily affect the very young, the elderly, pregnant women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and people with chronic health conditions.
If this sounds like you, your doctor might give you antiviral treatment to reduce your symptoms and prevent complications. These treatments are most effective when started within 2 days of the onset of flu symptoms, so it’s important to ask your doctor if this type of treatment is right for you.
Can influenza A be prevented?
Influenza spreads very easily from one person to another. If you have the flu, you should stay home while sick, cover your face when you sneeze or cough, and wash your hands regularly. If you are around someone with the flu, you can help prevent getting sick by regularly cleaning surfaces you touch, using a cleaning cloth with detergent, and washing your hands.
Getting vaccinated each year before winter arrives is the best way to protect against influenza A. A new vaccine is needed each year because influenza viruses are constantly changing. The flu vaccine is available to everyone over 6 months of age. The vaccine is particularly recommended if you are at risk for complications from the flu, or if you live or work with people who are at high risk for the flu.