Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:24pm EDT

By Julie Steenhuysen

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A study of rapid influenza tests found they miss many cases of swine flu and U.S. health experts said on Thursday they are not worth the trouble for this flu season.

A study looking at the effectiveness of a rapid flu test in the first few weeks of the H1N1 pandemic in May found it detected less than half of the cases later confirmed by more sophisticated tests.

The findings, which appeared in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly report on death and disease, confirm the CDC’s current guidelines, which stress that people with flu-like symptoms should get quick treatment, before getting a flu test.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told reporters at a briefing that doctors should simply treat symptoms and not bother with testing.

“The flu is the flu is the flu,” she said.

In September, the CDC said doctors should not wait for laboratory confirmation of H1N1 because quick treatment is important, and because a negative rapid test does not rule out the flu.

full story


• CNN’s Anderson Cooper & Sanjay Gupta – H1N1 Circulating widely in Afghanistan (Link)

•  9 H1N1 deaths in India, 283 new cases (Link)

•  WHO backs China’s H1N1 prevention, reporting(Link)
•  A/H1N1 flu cases rise to over 14,000 on Chinese mainland (Link)

Dominican Republic
•  Death toll increases in Dominican Republic due to A/H1N1 (Link)

•  Two new H5N1 cases (WHO)  (Link)

•  Agency fixated on H1N1 spin, critics say (Link)
• 3 more deaths reported in Pune toll 61(Link)
•  concerns about people w/ fevers mixing in public places (Link)
•  Prisoner’s death brings Pune toll to 63(Link)
•  Goa closes a school for one week  (Link)

•  Planning to handle new wave better than previous one(s) (Link)

South Korea
•  11-th death confirmed  (Link)

•  WHO confirms doctor’s death was H1N1  (Link)
•  Murmansk school first there to be closed for H1N1  (Link)
•  WHO retracts report of first Russian H1N1 flu death (Link)

•  Reports that likely H1N1 cases in two schools increased  (Link)

United Kingdom
•  Scotland wants to take kids’ blood samples to check immunity levels  (Link)
•  One in two GPs ‘will refuse swine flu vaccine’  (Link)
•  Chris Rogers and flu-hit Derby leave Essex sickened (Link
•  Inmate ‘drunk on swine flu gel’ (Link
•  Sharp rise in new swine flu cases (Link
•  Swine flu Scot sent to England for treatment(Link)
•  England now has nearly doubled caseloads in a week  (Link)
•  H (Link)

United States of America
•  The Nose syringe for Flu of A-H1N1  (Link)
•  Southern US: Swine Flu Hot Spots (Link)
•  Mother Jones commentary about ventilator shortages rules (Link)
•  Blog: Why Are Insurers Blocking H1N1 Treatment Prescriptions?  (Link)
•  AL: Alabama woman becomes 8th victim of swine flu (Link)
•  AR: Schools hit by stomach bug, not flu (Link)
•  AZ: Nurses survey of 23 hospitals shows lack of adequate readiness  (Link)
•  CA: Stanford, citing swine flu fears, university cancels the annual kiss-fest (Link)
•  CA: Parents not flocking toward H1N1 flu vaccinations for their kids  (Link)
•  CA: Three swine flu cases confirmed at fort schools  (Link)
•  CO: Colo. teen may have died from H1N1 (Link)
•  CO reports 2 more deaths, one in 50s another teen died 9/15 (Link)
•  CO: At least two swine flu cases in Garfield County schools  (Link)
•  FL: School absences increase with swine flu scare  (Link)
•  KS: KDHE reports two more deaths in Kansas of people infected with H1N1 (Link)
•  KY: 13 yr old girl’s death investigated as H1N1 (Link)
•  MD: Maryland 13 yr old in intensive care (Link)
•  MI: Swine flu case reported at Novi High School  (Link)
•  MN: Nine confirmed 212 likely cases of H1N1 at Lakeville elementary school (Link)
•  MN: Flu-like symptoms hit St. Louis Park schools (Link)
•  MO: H1N1 Hitting College Campuses (Link)
•  MO: MSSU student ‘referred’ to hospital for ‘symptoms’ of H1N1 (Link)
•  MO: Hazelwood Central freshman dies from swine flu  (Link)
•  NE: Flu outbreak closes western Nebraska schools (Link)
•  NH: Colby-Sawyer, Franklin Pierce hit by swine flu (Link)
• NJ: 2 more Ramapo College students may have swine flu (Link)
•  NV: Washoe County Reports First H1N1 Death (Link)
•  NY: RPI top doctor: Four students likely have H1N1 (Link)
•  OH: Kim would have been 23 Saturday, but had no health insurance (Link)
•  OK: Third Oklahoma swine flu death reported (Link)
•  OR: 4 confirmed swine flu cases at Hillsboro schools (Link)
•  RI: Brown Uni’s suspect cases increased from 78 to 234 since last Weds (Link)
•  TX: Dallas ER sees surge of patients and worried well  (Link)
•  TX: Flu Concerns in Dimmitt (Link)
•  VA:400 with H1N1 Virus at West Virginia U (Link)
• U WA braces for swine flu as students return (Link)

•  US government funds fight against swine and avian flu  (Link)
•  Death toll from swine flu reaches double figures (Link)

•  Zambia schools hit by H1N1 flu  (Link)

General / World News
•  WHO Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 – update 66  (Link)
•  Some doubt hand washing stops H1N1 (Link
•  Adjuvants #3 rebuttal(Link)