Why are we only testing for Covid?

Why are we only testing for Covid?

Before the pandemic, we were not accustomed to stocking test kits in a drawer, just in case. Now, though less prevalent than it was when Covid-19 was at its peak and tests were free, there’s an ongoing culture of self-testing at home. 

This is a golden opportunity for public health. It coincides with the emergence of new rapid antigen self-testing kits that can check for several common viral infections at once and give results within minutes. These tests, designed for home use, offer a transformative and convenient way for people to monitor their health beyond just Covid-19.

The benefits of testing this way go far beyond the individual. We need only remember the phrase “test, trace & isolate”, as government mantra on how to limit the spread of Covid-19. Effective testing can radically reduce the impact of a virus on the wider community.

But why only test for Covid? It’s far from the only viral infection circulating in communities. Data published from the UK Health Security Agency show that excess deaths associated with a flu infection were at a 5 year high in 2022/ 23. Flu presents a clear and ongoing danger to vulnerable groups like the elderly. Fostering a practice of regular general testing across the population would be of huge benefit to these groups and help reduce the burden on national health infrastructure.

The ability to diagnose different contagions without having to see a doctor is significant. A home test becomes the first port of call. It’s far more convenient for the individual and great news for over-stretched GP’s surgeries.

Many viral infections can be hard to tell apart. RSV for example (Respiratory Syncytial Virus), exhibits basically the same initial symptoms as Covid or Flu, but can have different consequences, especially for children. If a parent were able to know that their child has RSV rather than Flu, they would be on alert and more likely to seek immediate medical attention at any sign of deterioration.

Understanding what you’re suffering with informs whether to go into work or send your child to school. Whether to see friends and family members or stay away. Furthermore, a test can establish whether you’re carrying a virus, even if the symptoms aren’t showing. It’s easy to imagine a general culture developing whereby those with elderly or immune-compromised friends / family do a quick test before spending any time with them.

In the context of a changing landscape of viral infections and potential new outbreaks, having versatile testing tools is adaptive and resilient. Combination tests provide individuals with a cost-effective, proactive and efficient means of staying informed on health. Perhaps most importantly, they help protect the people we love.

Virax Clear’s new 4-in-1 rapid antigen test has been designed with children in mind for at home testing.

The test covers four of the most common viral infections children come into contact with – Covid-19, Flu types A+B and RSV.

The swab device included in the 2-test pack makes testing more comfortable for children, less anxiety inducing, and reduces stress for parents.

The inclusion of RSV enables parents to monitor their child for potential complications associated with childhood RSV infection.

This testing approach also identifies the potential occurrence of viral co-infections, providing a more accurate understanding of the child's health.

Results for all four viruses arrive within 12 minutes. This cost-effective testing solution is designed for easy retail sales, suitable for countertop or on-shelf display.

Contact Virax Clear today to order





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