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Coronavirus

S Korea Approved A New Test That’s Designed to Detect Both COVID-19 and Seasonal Influenza

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea approved a new test that’s designed to detect both COVID-19 and seasonal influenza from the same samples, which they say would help prevent disruption at hospitals as the pandemic stretches into the flu season.

The country has struggled to stem the spread of the coronavirus, which some experts say could spread more broadly during cold weather when people spend longer times indoors.

“It’s not easy to distinguish between COVID-19 and seasonal influenza as they share similar symptoms, but this test could diagnose them both in three to six hours,” senior Health Ministry official Yoon Taeho said during a briefing.

The new test, which targets genes that are specific to both COVID-19 and seasonal flu, is an evolved version of PCR.

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