Monday, April 27, 2009

Swine Flu

If you want to keep up with all things swine flu I recommend you read Effect Measure. The blog is run by public health scientists so you get both basic science and informed commentary on swine flu developments, government/s measures, etc.

Make sure to read the comments sections, as well. For example, this comment from the latest post, details the testing protocol (edited for context):

The rapid tests [done in the doctor's office] is only for influenza type, which can be either A or B. The H1N1, H3N2, etc. are subtypes. So the rapid tests tells if it is flu A[. I]f so and it is in one of the high index of suspicion cases (ILI and traveled to Mexico, for example) a swab is to be sent to the state public health lab. Those labs can subtype, i.e., tell if is one of the current seasonal H1N1s or H3N2s. They use PCR primers specific to the seasonal viruses. If it is a swine flu it will not be typable by the state lab. If they get untypable flu A, the state labs are being asked to send them to CDC, which has the primers for swine flu.



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