- The Immunisation Coalition (IC) says we can improve the health of all Australians if we test for more respiratory viruses.
The Immunisation Coalition (IC) is pleased to see some states expanding their testing to include influenza and COVID-19. However, testing should be expanded across the country to include RSV and whooping cough.
Dr Paul Griffin said: “In recent times our increased focus on rapid antigen testing for COVID 19 has reduced our ability to find other respiratory viruses. We are extremely fortunate to have very good therapies available to us, which are most effective when given early following infection, but can only be implemented following confirmation of the particular virus”.
Dr Rod Pearce, Chairman of the Immunisation Coalition said: “We can now effectively treat many of the viruses that are circulating. However, if we don’t test for them, we can’t treat them properly. Routine testing of multiple viruses will ultimately improve the health of all Australians”.
Prof Dominic Dwyer said: “Significant influenza activity is being detected in laboratories around Australia in an early start to the winter respiratory virus season. Respiratory virus infections have a significant impact on the hospital system and affect all ages. Laboratories in NSW are now moving to provide routine influenza and RSV testing along with COVID-19 testing, which we commend”.
Associate Professor John Litt said: ”It will take a lot of pressure off the Emergency Departments if patients with ILI (influenza like illness) can be tested for multiple respiratory viruses so treatment can commence as early as possible”.
Dr Paul Griffin added: “Given the very low number of cases recently and low vaccination rates, our population is perhaps more susceptible than ever before. Finding cases and managing them appropriately therapy can only be done if our testing strategy is right”.