Rapid flu tests could help health workers, manufacturers say as hospitals brace for a gruelling flu season amid rising coronavirus cases.
Pathology Technology Australia CEO Dean Whiting said rapid flu tests, similar to the rapid COVID-19 tests people are now familiar with, could help decide what treatments patients need faster.
He said there was an opportunity to learn from the coronavirus pandemic when it came to combating influenza and the federal government just had to give the green light to already existing technology.
“We’re still early in influenza season, so there is an opportunity for the government to make interventions that could have an instant impact,” Mr Whiting said.
It comes as NSW reported 12,020 new coronavirus cases on Friday, with 1398 people in hospital including 60 in intensive care. There were 13 deaths.
Meanwhile, University of Florida researchers say steroids can cut death rates by over 50 per cent in patients hospitalised with long COVID-19 upon discharge.
Researchers went through the health records of more than 1200 adults hospitalised with the virus in the past two years.
They found patients with the highest levels of an inflammation marker also had the highest risk of dying within a year of being discharged.
The common lasting symptoms are fatigue, shortness of breath, cough, joint pain and chest pain, according to researchers.
But the silver lining, as signalled in the journal Frontiers in Medicine, is that prescribing steroids cut the risk of dying by 51 per cent.
Clinics for long COVID-19 patients have already opened around Australia.
Another study published in The Lancet this week by Chinese researchers found long COVID-19’s ravaging effects on the body can last two years after a person is discharged from hospital.