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Quest Offers Avian Flu Testing Service

Quest Diagnostics Inc., have developed a diagnostic test to detect the avian influenza virus and will participate in the US government's preparedness efforts to provide rapid diagnosis and early surveillance of an outbreak, should the need arise.

Quest Diagnostics has notified physicians and hospitals in the US that it has begun to offer a gene-based screening test it developed to identify the H5N1 strain of Influenza A virus, the virus that is responsible for causing 'avian flu' in birds and some humans in certain parts of the world. The test is intended to help physicians screen patients with a range of flu-like symptoms who may have been exposed to the virus. Testing is performed on respiratory samples, which include sputum, swabs and bronchial washes.

Positive results of the screening test would be considered a 'presumptive identification' of avian flu until confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or other public health laboratory.

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Source : Quest Diagnostics View Company Information

Posted on November 7, 2005