Warnex Inc. announced that its Medical Laboratories division has launched a test for the detection of the influenza A H1N1 virus. The test, based on Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) technology specifically detects all influenza A viruses and then presumptively identifies the A H1N1 strain. Results will be available in as little as 8 hours. Samples with presumptive positive results will be treated according to public health recommendations.
With the recent events surrounding the A H1N1 flu virus, we are pleased to offer such a test for this virus with rapid turnaround times in order to assist healthcare professionals in diagnosing their patients faster, said Mark Busgang, President and CEO of Warnex. In addition, with the development of this influenza testing platform, in the future we will be able to quickly offer tests for other influenza virus strains as they appear.
H1N1 influenza virus, also known as human swine flu, is a variant of the influenza virus which was first detected in people in April 2009 and was feared to have the potential to cause a pandemic. The A H1N1 flu virus spreads from person to person, probably in much the same way as regular seasonal influenza viruses. It was originally referred to as swine flu because laboratory testing showed that many of the genes in this new virus were very similar to influenza viruses that normally occur in pigs in North America. However, further study has shown that this virus is made up of genetic elements from four different flu viruses: North American swine influenza, North American avian influenza, human influenza, and swine influenza virus typically found in Asia and Europe.
The symptoms of this new A H1N1 flu virus in people are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. A significant number of people who have been infected with this virus have also reported diarrhea and vomiting. Also, like seasonal flu, this virus can cause severe illness and death.
Warnex uses RT-PCR technology to specifically detect the influenza A virus including the A H1N1 strain of this virus. Warnex offers the option of an accelerated service whereby results are provided in as little as 8 hours.