Rapid flu tests have been brought to a number of NSW hospitals including Coffs Harbour Health Campus.
Rapid flu tests have been brought to a number of NSW hospitals including Coffs Harbour Health Campus. Contributed

Rapid tests to save lives

COFFS Harbour Base Hospital has welcomed new "rapid flu tests.”

Patients no longer need to wait for days, as test results can now be obtained within an hour. Westmead's NSW Health Pathology developed the swab test for immune suppressed or chronically ill people. It is also intended for pregnant women.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the new test is a "major breakthrough” that can transform the way flu is treated in NSW.

University of Sydney professor Dominic Dwyer said the new test may save lives.

"The drugs that are available for influenza really need to be given within 48 hours of the onset of the illness, so if you have to wait that long for a result you've missed the chance to get the useful drugs onboard,” he said.

The test, he explained, allows the appropriate medication to be prescribed, instead of unnecessary drugs like antibiotics which "have no value in a viral infection.”



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