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H1N1 Pandemic May Have Peaked in October in U.S., According to Quest Diagnostics
Date:11/20/2009

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"Our data provides encouraging signs that the 2009 H1N1 pandemic virus isn't spreading as aggressively now as it did in September and most of October. This decline may be due to several factors, including infection of millions of Americans with this influenza virus and the impact of H1N1 vaccinations, which may have reduced the number of people susceptible to infection, and changes in physician test-ordering practices," said Jay M. Lieberman, M.D., medical director, infectious diseases, Quest Diagnostics. "Nonetheless, our data also clearly indicates that the 2009 H1N1 virus continues to be the predominant influenza strain in the U.S. The bottom line is that the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic in America is far from over."

To read the full report, please visit QuestDiagnostics.com/HealthTrends.

The company's 2009 H1N1 influenza virus tests employ real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to qualitatively detect the 2009 H1N1 flu virus in a patient's nasal or nasopharyngeal specimens. The test targets a region of the hemagglutinin gene of the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus specifically to detect the presence of 2009 H1N1 influenza RNA, thereby differentiating it from seasonal human influenza A viruses.

Quest Diagnostics' Focus Diagnostics business has a track record of being first to market with new laboratory testing services for emerging infectious diseases. The company introduced a 2009 H1N1 flu test approximately two weeks after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared a pandemic emergency in the U.S. in late April. In addition, the FDA has issued emergency use authorizations to Focus Diagnostics for 2009 H1N1 influenza virus tests that the company provides commercially as test kits to complex molecular labs. These test kits include the new Simplexa-branded test kit on the 3M Integrated
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SOURCE Quest Diagnostics Incorporated
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