Facebook Twitter

South Korea just approved a test for flu and COVID-19

Health officials in South Korea have a new test that can detect COVID-19 and the flu.

SHARE South Korea just approved a test for flu and COVID-19
A health official from the district office wearing protective gear disinfects as a precaution against the coronavirus in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020.

A health official from the district office wearing protective gear disinfects as a precaution against the coronavirus in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020.

Lee Jin-man, Associated Press

Health officials in South Korea said they have approved a new test that can reportedly detect COVID-19 and the seasonal influenza from the same sample, ABC News reports.

  • The test is meant to “help prevent disruption at hospitals as the pandemic stretches into the flu season,” according to ABC News.

The new test would look for genes that have both COVID-19 and the seasonal flu. It’s an elevated version of the PCR tests, which are used to find COVID-19 from the nose or throat.

  • The flu and COVID-19 have similar symptoms, so the test would be a step toward helping people figure out which disease they might have.
  • The test “would be convenient for patients and also reduce the burden of medical workers,” said senior Health Ministry official Yoon Taeho, according to ABC News.

South Korea has worked to stop the spread of the coronavirus, and has succeeded for the most part. But a recent spike has encouraged health officials to develop new methods to curb the spread, according to The Hill.

Similar tests:

 LabCorp launched a similar test in September.

  • The test was given to physicians and medical workers.
  • The test is awaiting approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.