It’s Flu Season Again, Are You Prepared?

Microbiology Today

January 30, 2017

If you thought we’d escape with a mild flu season, think again. As of January 31st, there have been over 25,000 influenza cases across the US. The CDC reports that we’ve reached epidemic levels for flu in some parts of the US, and doctors are saying the peak is yet to come. While there are vaccines and things you can do to help protect yourself from contracting the virus, sometimes it is unavoidable. COPAN’s flocked swabs (FLOQSwabs®) and UTM®: Universal Transport Medium™ are preferred methods of collection, transport, preservation for helping diagnose the flu.

Influenza can be troublesome to pinpoint because the symptoms vary from patient to patient and resemble other diseases. In order to determine the proper course of action, samples are collected and tested. Flocked Swabs are ideal as they have no internal core to trap the sample.  The entire sample stays close to the surface for fast and complete elution. Once collected, the swab is placed into UTM®.  UTM® is a room temperature stable viral transport medium for collection, transport, maintenance and long term freeze storage of viruses.

With the help of UTM®: Universal Transport Medium™ and flocked swabs, it is easy to determine if and what strain of the flu a patient may be suffering from. This year’s most prevalent flu type is type A, specifically H3N2, a variant of the infamous swine flu or H1N1. The current flu vaccine has proven to be a good match for this year’s flu. You can still get the flu vaccine if you wish, but keep in mind the benefits take about two weeks to reach full potency. If you are showing symptoms, be sure to get tested and ask for FLOQswabs and UTM®: Universal Transport Medium™ by name!

For helpful tips on sample collection, click here!