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28th September 2020  Content supplied by: Thermo Fisher Scientific (Clinical Applications)

Seasonal Flu and Coronavirus Identification

Both coronavirus and influenza (flu) can affect people to varying degrees, ranging from no symptoms (asymptomatic) to severe symptoms.

There are two main types of influenza virus: Types A and B. The influenza A and B viruses that routinely spread in people are responsible for seasonal flu epidemics each year. Influenza viruses infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs, causing mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death.

The CDC estimates that influenza was associated with more than 35.5 million illnesses, more than 16.5 million medical visits, 490,600 hospitalizations, and 34,200 deaths during the 2018–2019 influenza season1. The World Health Organization estimates that worldwide, annual influenza epidemics result in about 3-5 million cases of severe illness and about 250,000 to 500,000 deaths2.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control provide a coronavirus situation update worldwide. Since 31 December 2019 and as of 20 August 2020, 22,431,929 cases of coronavirus (in accordance with the applied case definitions and testing strategies in the affected countries) have been reported, including 787,773 deaths3.

Patients with respiratory infections including flu may present symptoms similar to those associated with coronavirus, making fast and accurate pathogen identification more difficult.


When it comes to Flu A and Flu B testing Thermo Scientific Xpect Flu A&B allows physicians to make a rapid diagnosis with confidence, which is essential for reducing secondary testing, decreasing unnecessary antibiotic use, and guiding appropriate antiviral therapy.



1. Estimated Influenza Illnesses, Medical visits, Hospitalizations, and Deaths in the United States — 2018–2019 influenza season. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention

2. World Health Organization

3. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control COVID-19 situation update worldwide, as of 20 August 2020

3. Zhou F, Yu T, Du R, et al. Clinical course and risk factors for mortality of adult inpatients with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China: a retrospective cohort study.

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Date Published: 28th September 2020

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