LifeSign Antigen COVID-19 Flu A B Combo Test - Nasal Swab (25 Per Box)
- Ships same day if by 3pm EST. Signature required delivery.
LifeSign Antigen COVID-19 Flu A B Test - Nasal Swab (25 Per Box)
The current expiration date for this test is on or better than: MARCH 31, 2024
Ships same day if by 3pm EST. Signature required delivery.
The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need for rapid and accurate diagnostic tests, especially during the flu season. Both COVID-19 and the flu (caused by influenza viruses) share overlapping clinical symptoms, making it challenging for clinicians to differentiate based solely on clinical presentation. A combination antigen test that screens for both COVID-19 and flu A & B offers an integrated approach to efficient diagnosis.
What is an Antigen Test?
Antigen tests detect proteins (or antigens) from the virus in samples, typically collected via nasopharyngeal or nasal swabs. They're known for providing rapid results, often within minutes.
Why a Combination Test?
Efficiency: Combining the tests allows for a single sample to provide information on multiple viruses, reducing the need for multiple swabs and tests.
Resource Allocation: Reduces the burden on labs and clinics as they don't have to run separate tests.
Patient Care: Helps in the rapid differentiation of COVID-19 from the flu, allowing for more accurate patient management and treatment decisions.
Epidemiological Benefits: Enables public health officials to monitor the spread of these diseases simultaneously and adjust strategies as needed.
The test typically uses lateral flow technology, akin to a pregnancy test, where the sample is applied to a test device, and the presence of viral antigens is visualized as colored lines.
Sample Collection: A healthcare worker collects a nasal or nasopharyngeal swab.
Sample Application: The sample is then applied to the test device, often after being mixed with a provided buffer solution.
Result Interpretation: After a set time, usually within 15-30 minutes, the test displays lines indicating whether antigens from either (or both) viruses are present. There's typically one line for COVID-19, another for flu A, and another for flu B. The presence of a control line ensures the test worked correctly.
Rapid Results: Provides immediate guidance for patient management.
Resource Efficient: Reduces the need for multiple swabs and tests.
Cost-Effective: Often cheaper than running separate molecular tests.
Ease of Use: Suitable for settings without sophisticated lab equipment.
Less Sensitive: May miss some cases, especially if viral loads are low.
Cross-Reactivity: There's a potential (though minimal) risk of cross-reactivity between the different antigens. This could lead to misinterpretation of results.
Doesn't Replace PCR: In cases where a definitive diagnosis is crucial, or if the antigen test result is inconclusive or inconsistent with the clinical presentation, a PCR test might still be necessary.
A combination antigen test for COVID-19 and Flu A&B offers a promising tool for healthcare providers, especially during flu season or in regions where both diseases are circulating. While it offers multiple benefits, understanding its limitations and proper interpretation of results is crucial for its effective utilization in patient care.