Flu or cold? New test could take away the guessing game so you can get help sooner

It’s flu season, which means we need to be more vigilant than usual when it comes to germs and identifying our illnesses. But sometimes it’s just hard to tell whether your case of the sniffles is anything to worry about.

Luckily, a new test could diagnose your symptoms within minutes, which could tell you if you have the cold or influenza. Developed by an international and Australian research team, the rapid diagnosis kit works within five minutes, and could be an invaluable device.

At the present time, doctors will give medication to the most vulnerable (the elderly and very young) if they fear have influenza, regardless if they actually do, due to the current test’s waiting time of 48 hours.

Adults contract the flu about twice a decade, according to statistics, and it’s usually nothing to worry about, but the older you get, the higher your risk of complications from the seemingly harmless infection.

Lead inventor of the research team for the new flu testing device, Jeremy Lakey, from Newcastle University, said “It is 30,000 times thinner than a sheet of paper…We place a sample of blood or saliva on the surface and if there are proteins that derive from influenza they get trapped at the surface”.

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If you have the flu, the person administering the test will be able to tell quickly so medication can be taken as soon as possible.

The device could also aid in stopping outbreaks of the flu.



Tell us today, have you come down with the flu recently? Were you prescribed medication straight away?