With the arrival of flu season, Baylor Genetics, a pioneer of genetic testing and precision medicine, has launched the latest combination test for the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and Influenza A and B.
“Baylor Genetics created the combination COVID-19 and flu test because the symptoms between the two are so similar, but the treatments are undeniably different,” stated Kengo Takishima, President & Chief Executive Officer at Baylor Genetics. “This groundbreaking test, with results available in 48 hours or less, will result in better data and more accurate treatments for these similar, but distinct, viruses.”
In response to the global pandemic, Baylor Genetics validated its first test for COVID-19 in June 2020. Once launched, the company continued to focus on innovative efforts to help prevent the spread of the disease. Some of these efforts include unique partnerships with the City of Houston and Rice University. With their latest COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) & Flu (Influenza A/B) RT-PCR test, individuals will be able to determine if they are currently infected with COVID-19 or the flu.
“The clinical presentations of COVID-19 and influenza are similar, and it is difficult to differentiate the two entities on symptoms alone,” stated Dr. Christine Eng, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Quality Officer at Baylor Genetics. “This combination test will identify if SARS-CoV-2 or influenza A/B is the culprit, thus helping you and your healthcare provider better direct your care. Of course, it’s important to stay proactive this season and get your flu shot if you haven’t already.”
Since many are traveling during the holidays, it is imperative that individuals know whether they are infected with either COVID-19 or the flu and how to treat each virus. While these respiratory viruses have similar symptoms, their treatments are different. For COVID-19, potential treatment and vaccine options are emerging. For the flu, antiviral medications can help address symptoms and potentially shorten the time an individual is sick. Therefore, it is crucial for individuals to be able to confirm which virus they may be infected with to take the proper next steps to restore their health.
For the COVID-19 and flu combination test, all sample results will be sent to individuals securely and electronically within 48 hours of Baylor Genetics’ receiving the sample. In addition, the results will be automatically reported to state officials to track and slow the spread of cases in the local community. With accepted sample types of nasal or nasopharyngeal swab, all of the supplies for testing and returning the kit is provided to the individual.