New pointers from the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) withdrawing their request for Emergency Use Authorization for a coronavirus take a look at launched in February 2020 don’t imply that these polymerase chain response (PCR) assessments have didn’t differentiate between COVID-19 and Influenza, as customers on-line declare. Reasonably, the company is advising the adoption of latest assessments that may verify sufferers for each SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza viruses.
Social media posts, some containing screenshots of a CDC Lab Alert, are claiming that diagnostic assessments presently in use in the US to verify circumstances of COVID-19 can’t distinguish between that illness and the flu. One put up (right here) reads, partially, “The CDC is discontinuing the PCR take a look at it’s been utilizing since Feb 2020 as a result of it could possibly’t differentiate between the flu and COVID-19.”
Different posts (right here) present a digitally altered model of the particular steering from the CDC, seen right here .
On July 21, 2021, the CDC Division of Laboratory Programs launched a lab alert for these performing COVID-19 testing, saying PCR assessments for SARS-CoV-2 must be phased out by the tip of the yr (“After December 31, 2021, CDC will withdraw the request to the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of the CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Actual-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel, the assay first launched in February 2020 for detection of SARS-CoV-2 solely”).
This isn’t as a result of assessments failing or complicated SARS-CoV-2 with influenza, nonetheless, however with a view to transition towards utilizing a take a look at that may facilitate the analysis of each viruses.
The alert advises labs to change to different COVID-19 testing strategies and “encourages laboratories to contemplate adoption of a multiplexed methodology that may facilitate detection and differentiation of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza viruses.” The reason is, “Such assays can facilitate continued testing for each influenza and SARS-CoV-2 and may save each time and sources as we head into influenza season.”
Particulars about a majority of these assessments might be seen in a truth sheet right here .
The assertion, “the CDC encourages laboratories to contemplate adoption of a multiplexed methodology that may facilitate detection and differentiation of SARS CoV-2 and influenza viruses,” has been stripped of context and misinterpreted by social media customers.
CDC spokesperson Jasmine Reed advised Reuters by way of electronic mail, “the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019 nCoV) Actual-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel met an essential unmet want when it was developed and deployed and has not demonstrated any efficiency points.” Reed continued, “the demand for this take a look at has declined with the emergence of different higher-throughput and multiplexed assays.”
“CDC is encouraging public well being laboratories to undertake the CDC Influenza SARS-CoV-2 (Flu SC2) Multiplex Assay to allow continued surveillance for each influenza and SARS-CoV-2, which can save each time and sources,” Reed added.
Truth-checker Well being Suggestions additionally tackled this declare, right here .
False. The CDC just isn’t eradicating some PCR assessments as a result of they didn’t differentiate between COVID-19 and Influenza. The company says it’s choosing multiplex assays (that may take a look at for each viruses) to avoid wasting time and sources.
This text was produced by the Reuters Truth Test workforce. Learn extra about our fact-checking work right here .