Health topic



Understanding influenza

Influenza is a seasonal disease that occurs annually, usually peaking in winter. It affects 5-10% of adults and 20-30% of children each year1. Seasonal illnesses can result in hospitalisation and death mainly among high-risk groups (the very young, elderly or chronically ill). 

Influenza is characterised by sudden onset of symptoms including fever, runny nose, cough, headache and fatigue2. These symptoms overlap with many upper and lower respiratory infections caused by other bacterial and/or viral pathogens. This makes influenza diagnostics based on symptoms alone challenging for clinicians3.

Influenza diagnostics

Rapid Influenza Diagnostic Tests (RIDTs) can aid with the differentiation of Influenza type A from other Influenza-Like Illnesses (ILIs), which is essential for infection control and patient management.

Current influenza diagnostic tests commonly used are Point-of-Care (POC) rapid antigen tests and laboratory-based Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests4. Reliable negative Influenza A/B results support clinicians to consider other cases of illness like bacterial pathogens that require antibiotics.

Influenza systems and assays

At Roche, we use a range of systems and assays in order to support medical professionals to reliably differentiate influenza from other ILIs. Our systems help to guide health care professionals to track the development of influenza diagnostics, evaluate changes in patients' condition over time, and determine accurate prognosis. All of our assays and systems are validated, which is critical to providing safe and consistent results whilst minimising the risk to patients.

Reliable influenza diagnostic tests from Roche

Roche believes in offering healthcare professionals fast, effective and reliable diagnostic solutions in order to help fight the spread of influenza.


Related assays

Learn more about Influenza:

  • WHO. 2012. World Health Organization. Vaccines against influenza. WHO position paper. Weekly Epidemiol Record. 87(47), pp.461–76.
  • Mayo Clinic. 2016. Symptoms and causes.
  • Call, S.A, Vollenweider, M.A, Hornung, C.A, Simel, D.L and McKinney, W.P. 2005. Does this patient have influenza? JAMA. 293(8), pp.987-997.
  • CDC. 2016. Guidance for Clinicians on the Use of Rapid influenza diagnostic tests.
  • Caliendo, A., et al. 2013. Better tests, better care: improved diagnostics for infectious diseases. Clin Infect Dis. 57(3), pp.139-170.
  • Bhavnani, D, Phatinawin, L., Chantra, S, Olsen, S.J and Simmerman, J.M. (2007). The influence of rapid influenza diagnostic testing. J Infect Dis. 11, pp.355-359.
  • Bonner, A.B, Monroe, K.W, Talley, L.I, Klasner, A.E and Kimberlin, D.W. 2003. Impact of the rapid diagnosis of influenza on physician decision-making and patient management in the pediatric emergency department: results of a randomized, prospective, controlled trial.  Pediatrics. 112(2), pp.363-367.
  • Esposito, S, Marchisio, P, Morelli, P, Crovari, P and Principi, N. 2003. Effect of a rapid influenza diagnosis. Arch Dis Child. 88, pp.525-526.
  • Su, S, Fry, AM, Kirley, PD, Aragon, D, Yousey-Hindes, K, Meek, J, Openo, K, Oni, O, Sharangpani, R, Morin, C, Hollick, G, Lung, K, Laidler, M, Lindegren, ML, Schaffner, W, Atkinson, A and Chaves, SS. 2009. Effect of rapid influenza testing on the clinical management of paediatric influenza. Influenza Other Respir Viruses. 3, pp.91-98.
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