Accuracy of some flu tests questioned
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Aug. 17, 2009
Rapid influenza diagnostic tests are capable of detecting influenza A(H1N1), but they miss many infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Aug. 7 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (link).
Sales of the tests have increased since the appearance and rapid spread of H1N1, making it necessary to evaluate the accuracy of the tests now being sold, the CDC said.
The agency is urging physicians to be cautious about relying solely on the tests in making a diagnosis. The test result always should be interpreted in the context of currently circulating flu strains, the CDC said, and a negative test result should not be interpreted as indicating the absence of influenza.
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2009/08/17/prbf0817.htm.