Respiratory pathogen screening could help providers in flu season

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True Health announced it had debuted a test that targets 21 viral and bacterial pathogens to help providers give correct treatment for respiratory illnesses during cold and flu season.

There are an estimated 50% of antibiotic prescriptions for acute respiratory tract infections that are unnecessary, the company said. The goal of the test to is to find a specific cause of infection for symptoms such as coughing, congestion, headaches and wheezing.

"There are many different microorganisms that can cause cold and flu-like symptoms. Even an experienced physician may have difficulty identifying a specific cause for respiratory illness, which often determines the most effective treatment," said Bobbie Sutton, M.D., Ph.D., Vice President and Laboratory Director at True Health.