Feds pay two companies to develop at-home flu tests

Feds pay two companies to develop at-home flu tests

Jul 11 2018

In a bid to make at-home flu tests as cheap and easy as home pregnancy tests, the federal government said Wednesday that it had invested $24 million with two companies working on two entirely different approaches.

The hope is to speed up both treatment and tracking of the annual influenza epidemic, said the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, a division of the Health and Human Services Department.

“It would be amazing,” Rick Bright, director of the biomedical agency, told NBC News. “It would have a tremendous impact not only on seasonal flu outbreaks but on a pandemic.”

Right now, people who think they have influenza must get to a doctor, get tested, wait for the test results, and perhaps get flu medications. Flu drugs such as Tamiflu work best if people take them within the first 48 hours of infection, and people may wait too long to get to a doctor, the agency said in a statement.

Source: NBC News NBC News