Now it will be even easier to determine whether a person has the flu or not. The FDA has approved ProFlu+, a test that can identify four common respiratory viruses in a matter of hours. That is well within the two-day window when antiviral therapy is most effective, said Daniel Shultz, MD, director of the FDA’s center for devices and radiological health.

The test uses a multiplex platform that allows several tests to be processed using the same sample to detect influenza A virus, influenza B virus, and respiratory synctial virus A and B (RSV). A molecular biology process isolates and amplifies viral genetic material present in secretions taken from the back of patients’ throats.